A group of top US justice officials has accused Google of tracking users’ location data and making profits. It has been argued that Google creates detailed profiles and sells more targeted ads with data collected from its billions of users. The location of the user is an important part of this. Attorney General Carl Racine in Washington said that Google has falsely assured consumers that changing their account and device settings will enable customers to protect their privacy, AFP reported. In this case, the Attorney General of three US states has filed a case against Google.
Google has said that the claims of the officials were false and based on earlier claims related to its settings. In a statement, Google said that we have always added privacy features to our products. Strong control has been given for location data. We will defend ourselves vigorously.
Attorney General Racine argued that from 2014 to 2019, Google claimed that users could turn off their “location history” setting and that ‘the places users visit are not stored.’ Racine said it was wrong. He has alleged that Google collects and stores the location of its users even when the location history is turned off.
Officials also alleged that tech giant Google has used ‘dark patterns’ or design tricks. Its purpose is to influence the choice of users, so that the company can benefit.
Giving examples, Racine’s office said that users were repeatedly prompted to provide location in some apps. It was claimed that this would make the product work properly, whereas in reality there was no need to provide location for that app.
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita said in a statement that a limited amount of location data can also reveal a person’s identity and routines. This information can be used to learn about a user’s political or religious beliefs, to estimate income, health and other sensitive personal details, he said.