The year 2022 hasn’t started well for Google, with the District of Columbia, Texas, Washington state, and Indiana filing a lawsuit against the tech giant over “deceptive location tracking”.
The lawsuit alleges Google deceived users by collecting their location data even though the users thought the function was disabled. These “misleading promises about its users’ ability to protect their privacy through Google account settings” date back to at least 2014, the Washington Post reports.
Commenting on the lawsuit, DC Attorney General Karl Racine said,
“Google falsely led consumers to believe that changing their account and device settings would allow customers to protect their privacy and control what personal data the company could access. The truth is that contrary to Google’s representations it continues to systematically surveil customers and profit from customer data.”
That statement should drive fear through the world’s 4.66 billion internet users.
The lawsuit stems from investigations dating back to 2018 by Princeton University and the Associated Press into concerns that Google iOS and Android apps recorded time-stamped location data without permission.
As Tech Crunch reports, “The lawsuit argues that Google created a location tracking system that’s impossible for users to opt out of and that it misled users about how privacy settings could protect their data within apps and at the device level on Android. It also accuses Google of relying on deceptive dark pattern design to force users into making choices counter to their own interests.”
The lawsuit seeks to stop the location data practices and fine the tech giant.
We like to bring you these stories because they highlight the extent of the data privacy crisis and how, increasingly, privacy laws and consumer backlash are reining in big tech’s blatant disregard for user privacy.
Until companies become honest stewards of consumer data, users must proactively protect themselves. At Anonyome Labs, we empower people to determine what information they share, and how, when and with whom they share it. Enterprises can use our Sudo Platform to rapidly develop and deploy branded privacy and cybersafety customer solutions, and consumers can use our MySudo all-in-one privacy app. At the heart of both solutions is the Sudo digital identity.
Photo By Serhii Yevdokymov