The Arizona Attorney General’s office sues Google, alleging the tech giant continues to collect location data even if users have turned off tracking. It revealed that some Google employees were concerned about the company’s conduct after the news reports. Controversial details have been published.
“The truth is, what we discovered was shocking,” Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich told FOX Business in an interview last week. “It̵7;s just confirmation that Google is doing everything it can to spy on everyone. without notifying anyone.”
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Brnovich’s office sued Google last May. It accused the tech giant of using deceptive and unfair practices to track users’ locations. even if they choose not to accept it. and used that data to target users with ads that generated more than $130 billion in revenue in 2019.
This practice was initially disclosed after an Associated Press article in 2018 reported that Google could continue to track users’ locations. Even if they opted out of Google’s access to “Location History,” the store reported that even if location history was paused, some Google apps automatically store timestamp data without notification, such as organizing. Keep a snapshot of the location when someone opens the “Map” application.
Google later adjusted its privacy settings, but Brnovich launched a lawsuit in May 2020 as part of a broader opposition to Big Tech by Republican attorney general and lawmakers. The state accused Google of misleading consumers.
“We allege that when consumers try to opt out of Google location data collection, the company continues to find misleading ways to obtain that information. and use it for their financial gain,” Brnovich told FOX Business.
Google accused Arizona of mistaking what Google did, and Oracle supported the lawsuit. It has been battling Google in court over rights to software code used in its Android software. Bloomberg News reports that Oracle has lobbyed regulators and law enforcement agencies in the US and EU to track Google, including privacy issues.
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Google spokesperson José Castañeda told Fox News, “The Attorney General and our competitors in this lawsuit have attempted to misrepresent our services.” position We look forward to setting the record straight.”
in the discovery process Emails between Google engineers sent after a 2018 AP article show they have concerns about the practice. and believe that the concerns raised in the article are correct. Some of those emails went public last year. But some have been published recently. This is because the process continues.
“So there’s no way to give your location to a third-party and non-Google app. It doesn’t sound like what we’d like on the NYT homepage,” said one employee in the unrevamped section. First reported by The Arizona Mirror.
“I agree with this article. Closing the premises should mean closing the premises. Except in this or that case,” said another.
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“People really just think in terms of ‘Position is on’, ‘position is off’ because that’s what you have on the front screen of your phone,” another said.
Brnovich said the email indicated that Google employees knew what they were doing would upset customers.
“I believe what we have discovered so far. It shows that Google understands and appreciates that what they are doing is deceptive and that it would upset consumers if they knew about it,” he said. what they do they hide And use every trick in your arsenal to stop this from looking at the light of day. Every consumer needs to know about Google’s intentions.”
As for what’s next in the lawsuit, Brnovich told FOX Business the state will continue to fire Google employees about the lawsuit and have periodic status updates next month. He believes the case should go to trial next year.
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While there have been several Republican attempts to crack down on Big Tech’s influence, whether it’s privacy issues or alleged censorship by companies like Twitter, Brnovich denies this is a partisan issue.
“This is not a Republican or Democratic issue,” he said when we began this investigation to protect Arizona consumers in the Arizona court. It is special, different, and unique.”
He also acknowledged that the fight against big companies like Google was an uphill climb.
“Google has an army of lawyers and lobbyists. And they’ve done everything they can to stop them from receiving procedural benefits. and quite frankly to hide what they are doing,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.