Texas and the District of Columbia sued Alphabet Inc’s Google on Monday over what they called deceptive location tracking practices that invade United States users’ privacy.
Two other state attorneys general plan to file lawsuits as well as part of a bipartisan effort to hold Google accountable over privacy, Washington, DC Attorney General Karl Racine’s office said in a statement.
“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,” Racine said.
“The truth is that contrary to Google’s representations it continues to systematically surveil customers and profit from customer data. Google’s bold misrepresentations are a clear violation of consumers’ privacy.”
Google Spokesperson Jose Castaneda said the “attorneys general are bringing a case based on inaccurate claims and outdated assertions about our settings. We have always built privacy features into our products and provided robust controls for location data. We will vigorously defend ourselves and set the record straight.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton alleged Google misled consumers by continuing to track their locations even when users sought to prevent it.
Google has a “Location History” setting and informs users that if they turn it off “the places you go are no longer stored”, Texas said.
Google “continues to track users’ location through other settings and methods that it fails to adequately disclose,” Texas said.
In May 2020, Arizona filed a similar lawsuit against Google over its collection of location data of users. That suit is pending.