US States Sue Google Over Location Tracking

On Monday, the US states of Texas, Washington, and Indiana, as well as the District of Columbia, sued Alphabet Inc’s Google over allegedly deceptive location-tracking practices that invade users’ privacy.

In a statement, Washington DC 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 went on to say that the tech giant “continues to systematically surveil customers and profit from customer data.” 

The lawsuit cites an article by the Associated Press, published in 2018, that revealed Google was continuing to track the location of users even when they switched off the “location history” setting. Google claimed that switching the setting off would stop location tracking but there was actually a different setting called “Web & App Activity” that continued to track the location and personal data of its users. 

In response to the lawsuit, a spokesperson for Google said attorneys general are bringing a case based on inaccurate claims and outdated assertions about our settings.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.”

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