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Arizona files legal complaint against Google for tracking location

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The state of Arizona filed a lawsuit accusing Google of fraud for tracking locations and gathering data deceptively. The lawsuit followed an investigation into Google’s practices, revealing the company’s ability to track users even if they opted out of sharing location information. Arizona attorney general Mark Brnovich believes Google invades personal privacy by exploiting other avenues to track movements without consent. Google disputes the claims, stating they provide privacy features and controls for location data. The lawsuit calls for Google to pay back money made from activities in Arizona. Google can still target ads based on app or online activity, even if users decline to share location information.

Arizona files law suit against Google over location tracking

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Photo: AFP/File

The US state of Arizona filed a lawsuit on Wednesday accusing Google of committing fraud by being deceptive about tracking locations and data gathering.

Arizona attorney general Mark Brnovich said the suit resulted from an investigation launched two years ago after a media report that Google had ways of knowing where users were even if they opted not to share location information with the internet firm.

“While Google users are led to believe they can opt-out of location tracking, the company exploits other avenues to invade personal privacy,” Brnovich said in a release.

“It’s nearly impossible to stop Google from tracking your movements without your knowledge or consent.”

The suit charges Google with violating Arizona fraud law and calls for the company to hand over money it made from its activities in that state.

Also read: Apple, Google launch digital contact tracing system

“The attorney general and the contingency fee lawyers filing this lawsuit appear to have mischaracterised our services,” Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda said in response to an AFP inquiry.

“We have always built privacy features into our products and provided robust controls for location data.”

He added that Google looks forward to “setting the record straight.”

While Google provides users the option of declining to share location information while using its services or smartphones powered by Google-made Android software, it can glean from app or online activity where users are to target ads, the suit argued.

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