Google has been accused of revealing users’ whereabouts even though individuals have chosen not to share their locations. A new lawsuit against Google has been filed by four attorneys general from three different states in the United States, led by District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine.
It is stated in the case that Google has misled customers about how their location is tracked and utilised by the firm, as well as regarding the ability of consumers to safeguard their privacy by disabling the tracking.
Google shares user’s location without their consent
According to the complaint, Google deceives users into believing that they have complete control over what portion of their data is acquired by the firm and how Google uses the information gathered by the company. Users of Google products, on the other hand, have discovered that they are powerless to prevent Google from collecting, retaining, and profiting from their location data.
Further, according to the research, Google collects personal data from users when they use Google products to expand its company. This data includes location data, according to the report. The information is then used by the corporation to target adverts to specific consumers.
Karl Racine Statement on Google
“Google misled users into believing that modifying their account and device settings would allow them to preserve their privacy and have greater control over what personal data the corporation could access. This was untrue. In fact, contrary to Google’s claims, the company continues to systematically spy on users and profit from their data”, according to DC Attorney General Karl Racine in a statement released on Tuesday morning.
A tremendous financial motive to “conceal the nature of its location data gathering activities and to make it difficult for users to opt-out of being followed” has also been asserted against Google, according to the lawsuit.
They also claim that Google has utilized “dark patterns,” or design tactics intended to discreetly influence users’ decisions in ways that are advantageous to the corporation.
Using the example of certain applications that frequently encourage users to disclose location information while stating that the items would not work correctly if they did not, Racine’s office stated that location was not required for the app in question.
According to Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, “even a small bit of location data accumulated over time might reveal a people identify and routines.”
He stated that information may be used to deduce “sensitive personal data” such as political or religious opinions, money, health, or major life events such as births and divorces from the information.
In response to the case, a Google official stated that the assertions made in the complaint were false. A lawsuit has been filed against us by the attorneys general based on false accusations and outdated representations regarding our operating environment.” According to The Verge, Google policy spokesperson José Castaeda stated, “We have always embedded privacy features into our products and offered comprehensive controls for location data.”