Texas, Indiana, Washington State and the District of Columbia sue Alphabet Inc’s Google . The reason for this act is deceptive location-tracking practices that invade users’ privacy, according to Reuters. In a statement Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine’s office said:
“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.”
The statement added that Google “continues to systematically survey customers and profit from customer data,” and it also calls the practice “a clear violation of consumers’ privacy”.
Jose Castaneda, the Google spokesperson said that:
“Attorneys general are bringing a case based on inaccurate claims and outdated assertions about our settings. We have always built privacy features into our products and provided robust controls for location data. We will vigorously defend ourselves and set the record straight.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton alleged Google misled consumers by continuing to track their location even when users sought to prevent it, according to Reuters.
Google has a “Location History” setting and informs users if they turn it off “the places you go are no longer stored,” and Google “continues to track users’ location through other settings and methods that it fails to adequately disclose.” Texas added.
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in 2020, Google made nearly $150 billion from advertising.
It turns out that location data is the key to Google’s advertising business. That’s the reason why the company has a financial incentive to dissuade users from withholding access to that data, said the Ferguson’s office in a statement Monday.
Yet, that is quite unacceptable.