An Arizona official claimed in a lawsuit that Google monitored user location even if tracking is off.
Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed the lawsuit following an investigation. The said investigation started after The Associated Press reported about Google’s location tracking in 2018.
“An Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so. Computer-science researchers at Princeton confirmed these findings at the AP’s request,” The Associated Press said in its 2018 report.
The suit alleges that the company violated the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act.
“Every company has a responsibility to be truthful to consumers,” Brnovich said. “You can’t deceive them, you can’t make misrepresentations,” he also stated.
Google spokesman Jose Castaneda defended the company. He said: “We have always built privacy features into our products and provided robust controls for location data. We look forward to setting the record straight.” He also said Brnovich and the “contingency fee lawyers” have mischaracterized Google’s services.
The 2018 AP report says Google lets you “pause” a setting called Location History.
“Google says that will prevent the company from remembering where you’ve been … That isn’t true. Even with Location History paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking,” said the report.
“Though Google claims to have obtained consent to collect and store its users’ data, that consent is based on a misleading user interface, as well as other unfair and deceptive acts and practices,” the lawsuit also alleges.