The tech giant has been accused of having surveillance on customers and profits from collecting their data
The District of Columbia, Texas, Indians and Washington State have filed lawsuits against Alphabet Inc's Google. They alleged deceptive location-tracking practices that invaded users' privacy.
In separate lawsuits, the attorneys general alleged that the search engine giant had systematically deceived its users about its location-tracking practices since 2014. It misled them regarding the control they exercised over the information that was collected by the company. They argued that in reality, the users had no meaningful control over the data collected, stored and processed by Google.
The lawsuits revealed that Google continued to track the movements "even when explicitly told not to do so."
Issued by the office of the Attorney General Karl Racine for the District of Colombia, the statement read, "Google falsely led consumers to believe that changing their account and device settings would allow customers to protect their privacy and control what personal data the company could access."
It further stated that despite Google's bold representations to the contrary, the company continued to systematically have surveillance on customers and profited from the customer data.
The statement released by the office of Washington State, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, quoted him. It read, "The location data is deeply personal for the consumers. This information reveals the most significant details of our lives. Google denied consumers the ability to choose whether Google could track their sensitive location data to make a profit. Google kept tracking individuals' location data even after consumers told the corporation to stop. This is not only dishonest, but it is also unlawful."
The statement further claimed that Google had made nearly $150 billion from advertising in 2020 alone. Since the location data was key to the company's business, it had a financial incentive to "dissuade users from withholding access to that data."
The Attorney General of Arizona brought a similar case against Google in 2020. Granting Google's motion for summary judgment in part and denying it in part, the judge ruled that the lawsuit against the tech giant should move to a trial.
However, Google's statement released on its blog applauded the Arizona legal ruling. It claimed that the judge had rejected Arizona Attorney General's central argument. The blog further stated that the recent lawsuits against it "mischaracterize and inaccurately describe the settings and controls we provide to the users over location data.