The U.S. State of Arizona filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against Google alleging deceptive and unfair practices used to obtain users’ location data. In the filing, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich accused that the tech giant exploits these data for its lucrative advertising business.
In a tweet, Brnovich said, “We brought forward this action to put a stop to Google’s deceptive collection of user data, obtain monetary relief, and require Google to disgorge gross receipts arising from its Arizona activities.”
Meanwhile, defending its policies around location data, Google spokesman Jose Castaneda reportedly said, “The Attorney General and the contingency fee lawyers filing this lawsuit appear to have mischaracterized our services. We have always built privacy features into our products and provided robust controls for location data.”
According to Brnovich, the state started its investigation of Google following a 2018 media article about how users are lulled into a false sense of security to believe that Google provides them the ability to actually disable their Location History.
The company’s over 80% of revenues in 2019, i.e., $135 billion out of $161 billion, were generated through advertising. The lawsuit alleged that Google collects detailed information about its users without their consent or knowledge, including their physical locations, to target them for advertising.
In February, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas had filed lawsuit against Google alleging that its educational platforms violated federal child privacy laws.
The company is also being probed by a coalition of state attorneys general over its dominance in online advertising.
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