Multiple U.S. states sue Google over alleged Android location tracking

The suit accuses Google of using deceptive practices to confuse users and collect location data

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Google has been sued again, this time around by attorneys general from three U.S. states and the District of Columbia (D.C.). The lawsuit alleges that Google deceptively collected location data on Android.

The Verge notes that the complaints build on a 2020 lawsuit filed by Arizona’s attorney general. The suit alleges that Google employed a “complex web” of settings that made it difficult to tell if users were sharing their location at a given moment. Moreover, the suit accuses Google of pushing Android users to share location data with “repeated nudging, misleading pressure tactics, and evasive and deceptive descriptions.”

In a statement, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine accused Google of falsely leading “consumers to believe that changing their account and device settings would allow customers to protect their privacy.”

Racine filed the lawsuit on January 24th alongside suits from attorneys general from Washington, Texas, and Indiana.

Google denied the claims, telling The Verge that “The attorneys general are bringing a case based on inaccurate claims and outdated assertions about our settings.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.”

It’s worth noting that many of the issues raised in the D.C. lawsuit pull from a 2018 story from the Associated Press that found many of Google’s apps on iOS and Android stored location data even if users enabled privacy settings that claimed to disable location data.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Source: The Verge