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Arizona Attorney General sues Google for misleading data collection practices

Google faces a new lawsuit from the Arizona state attorney general over how it collects data from Android users. The AG Mark Brnovich filed a lawsuit against Google alleging the company uses deceptive and unfair practices to obtain users’ location data, which Google then exploits for its advertising business. The state wants Google to stop the practices and also to force Google to disclose how much it earns from its Arizona activities.

The state official launched an investigation into Google in August 2018, following a report from the Associated Press over how Google tracks user location. The report found that Google still collected location data even if users had turned off the location history function. Google has since amended its settings, including the ‘Web & App Activity’ menu which also can collect location data, in an attempt to make more clear its practices.

Arizona’s investigation claims that Google uses deceptive and unfair practices to collect as much user information as possible in order to support its lucrative advertising business. “The company goes to great lengths to collect users’ location, including through presenting users with a misleading mess of settings, some of which seemingly have nothing to do with the collection of location information,” the AG said in a statement. 

Its lawsuit includes testimony from Google employees and internal documents obtained from Google. While some elements have been redacted as confidential, the attorney general said it would work to have more of the information made public during the case.