In the lawsuit filed this week in a District of Columbia court, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine alleges Google has “systematically” deceived consumers about how their locations are tracked and used. He also says the internet search giant has misled users into believing they can control the information the company collects about them.
“In reality, consumers who use Google products cannot prevent Google from collecting, storing and profiting from their location,” the lawsuit says. Google has “an unprecedented ability to monitor consumers’ daily lives.”
Google makes it impossible for users to opt out of having their sensitive and valuable location data tracked, the suit alleges.
The attorneys general of Texas, Indiana and Washington state filed similar lawsuits in their state courts.
“Google’s business model relies on constant surveillance of its users,” Racine’s office said in a news release. The D.C. suit asserts that Google has “a powerful financial incentive to obscure the details” of its location-data collection and to make it difficult for consumers to opt out. It says location data is a key part of its digital advertising business that generated $150 billion in revenue for Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., in 2020.
The company, based in Mountain View, California, is disputing the claims.
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