The state of Arizona claimed that google violated Arizona’s consumer fraud laws by collecting location data without users’ permission. The authorities mentioned that location tracking remains on in the background even when the users turn it off. Google did it in various applications for mapping, weather, and other similar apps.
Mark Brnovich, state’s attorney general, told the ‘Washington Post’ in an interview that, When consumers try to opt-out of Google’s collection of location data, “the company is continuing to find misleading ways to obtain information” and use it for profit.
The state wants google to pay a monetary fine of about $10,000 for every violation of Arizona’s consumer fraud laws. The state also wants the firm to pay all the monetary revenue generated using the ads that were posted with the help of this illegal information collection, to the state and. The state says that Google makes it “impractical if not impossible” to completely turn off the setting and stop the firm from tracking your location.
In an interview with The Post, Google stated that the Attorney General and the contingency fee lawyers filing this lawsuit might have mischaracterized their services, “We have always built privacy features into our products and provided robust controls for location data. We look forward to setting the record straight” the firm added.
The company makes most of its money with the help of advertisements. Keeping track of sensitive and private user data allows the firm to drop in personally curated ads for the users. Users end up getting attracted to these ads, and thus the company makes its monetary benefits. Google is facing a lot of lawsuits regarding privacy issues by various states. These lawsuits accuse Google of violating privacy laws in a number of its applications. The accusations are a result of a two-year-long investigation.
In December 2019, Google faced a $170 million worth of lawsuit, where the European Union had accused it of violating the privacy rights of users. The US Federals have also been keeping a close eye on Google’s data collection policies and techniques, investigating if it gives the firm any leverage in accessing user data in unauthorized manners.
Mark Brnovich also mentioned in his interview that google changed its default tracking settings without even notifying the users, let alone asking for their permission. The state also claims that Google carried out uncooperative conduct, delay tactics, and a general failure to comply when the lawsuits were filed. The company has faced multi million and billion dollars worth of lawsuits in the past three years.
In his statement to the Washington Post, Brnovich said “I wanted Google to get the message that Arizona has a state consumer fraud act. They may be the most innovative company in the world, but that doesn’t mean they’re above the law.”
Image source: TheVerge