Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming the search giant collects location data even after users opt out.
Google has been under increasing scrutiny, both in the US and Europe, over its privacy practices. Arizona is the latest to take the search giant to task, claiming it is illegally collecting information on its users.
“While Google users are led to believe they can opt-out of location tracking, the company exploits other avenues to invade personal privacy,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “It’s nearly impossible to stop Google from tracking your movements without your knowledge or consent. This is contrary to the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act and even the most innovative companies must operate within the law.”
The Arizona AG began its investigation in 2018, in the wake of an Associated Press article calling Google out for blatantly lying to its users about when their data was being collected. That report proved that Google continued to track users, despite telling them their location would not be stored if Location History was turned off. Instead, the company simply used one of any number of other methods to continue tracking their customers’ locations.
In the course of the investigation, Arizona discovered “that Google uses deceptive and unfair practices to collect as much user information as possible and makes it exceedingly difficult for users to understand what’s being done with their data, let alone opt-out.”
It will be interesting to see how Google responds although, looking at the court filing, it appears the Arizona AG has meticulously built a solid case.