Arizona files law suit against Google over location tracking

Arizona files consumer fraud lawsuit against Google

"Today we filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against Google for deceptive and unfair practices used to obtain users' location data, which Google then exploits for its lucrative advertising business", Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced in a series of tweet Wednesday night. Google has recently been fined $1.7 billion in the European Union for abusive advertising practices and $170 million by the US FTC for illegally collecting data about children watching YouTube cartoons, to name just two notorious cases. Per Arizona laws, Google could also be fined up to $10,000 for each violation. "They may be the most innovative company in the world, but that doesn't mean they're above the law".

The allegation is Google collected location data to deliver targeted ads to Arizona residents who may not have consented to such tracking in the first place. The complaint states that in order to completely turn off location services, the user has to search deep into the Android system settings and turn it off from there, on a system level. The state's charges echo the views of privacy experts and congressional lawmakers, though Google previously maintained it offered "clear descriptions of these tools, and robust controls so people can turn them on or off, and delete their histories at any time". According to Attorney General Mark Brnovich, "It's almost impossible to stop Google from tracking your movements without your knowledge or consent".

Arizona began investigating Google's practices in 2018 after a report by the Associated Press found that several Google apps collect data even when users choose privacy settings that say that they will prevent the tech giant from doing so.

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He said in a Twitter thread that they brought forward the suit to put an end to Google's "deceptive collection of user data" and to also "obtain monetary relief".

Brnovich wanted Google to pay back ill-gotten profits from its alleged misdeeds, totaling perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars, the attorney general said.

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