Home / Companies / News /  Google deceived users about location tracking, new suit alleges

Washington, D.C., and two states filed new lawsuits against Alphabet Inc.’s Google, accusing it of deceiving consumers by recording their location even after users tried to turn off the company’s tracking.

Google falsely told customers that if they opted out of collection of their “Location History" or other settings, Google wouldn’t store the places they went, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in the District of Columbia’s Superior Court.

In fact, the suit alleges, Google still tracks people’s movements using information from its search engine, Maps app, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth services.

“In reality, regardless of the settings they select, consumers who use Google products have no option but to allow the Company to collect, store, and use their location," the suit states. “Simply put, even when a user’s mobile device is set to deny Google access to location data, the Company finds a way to continue to ascertain the user’s location."

It alleges that reality is inconsistent with Google’s public statements about giving users control over what information the company can collect.

A Google representative had no immediate comment.

Similar suits were filed in Indiana and Texas Monday, and Washington state also plans to file suit, according to D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine’s office.

The Washington, D.C., suit seeks fines against Google as well as disgorgement of data obtained from any unlawful conduct and “any algorithms developed in using such data."

To back up its claims, the suit cites internal company documents, including one in which a Google employee allegedly says that the user interface for Google Account Settings “feels like it is designed to make things possible, yet difficult enough that people won’t figure it out."

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text

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