Google has faced new evidence by Arizona’s attorney general over tracking locations and collecting data. According to the newly-discovered documents, Google has deliberately made it difficult or even impossible for users to disable location tracking and collecting location-related data.
This means that even if users chose not to share their location data, Google continued to collect location information regardless of the users’ demands. Of course, this is not the whole story. According to leaked documents, Google has even tried to lure smartphone manufacturers that use Android.
Google asked them to continue collecting location data “through active misrepresentations and concealment, suppression, or omission of facts.” Google has done this in a way that even its engineers and senior executives, including the company’s senior product manager, wouldn’t understand how the whole process works.
According to Businessinsider, Google made it difficult for users to find privacy-related settings in the Android menus. The easy finding of privacy settings was a “problem” for Google. The company has not yet responded to the allegations.
Google secretly collects users’ location data
Google had previously tried to block the release of the documents with legal leverage. But Arizona’s attorney general released the documents according to the request of News Media Alliance and Digital Content Next companies.
Also, the documents state that Google has collected users’ location data through various methods such as Wi-Fi or third-party applications not affiliated with the company. In most cases, users had to turn on their device’s location or connect to Wi-Fi to use an application.
Even Google employees have realized that users are tired of occasional Google tracking, which can be a threat to the business and the company’s future.
The investigation started in 2020
Arizona’s attorney general started its investigation over Google’s tracking of Android users in 2020. According to the documents, Google has used this information to show targeted ads to users. Also, they made over $130 billion in 2019 from this way.
“Google is doing everything it can to spy on everyone it can, without providing any sort of notice to anyone.” Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in an interview with FOX Business.
This is not the first time Google has been accused of violating users’ privacy. The company faces numerous privacy cases in the United States and abroad. In the latest case, the German antitrust watchdog has accused Google of illegally collecting users’ data. Moreover, violation of competition rules is another charge of Google in Germany.