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Geolocation: Google sued in the US for abusive data collection

Google is once again at the target of American justice. Prosecutors in Indiana, Texas, Washington State, and the United States capital, Washington, have decided to join forces to take legal action against the Mountain View firm. They accuse him of collecting geolocation data of users without obtaining his authorization. The group denies these allegations.

Google was accused of collecting data even if an option to prevent collection is checked

Prosecutors taking action against Google believe that the company is not abiding by its commitments. The subsidiary of the Alphabet group does indeed offer any Android and iOS operating system user with a Google account to enable an option that prevents the collection of geolocation data.

However, according to the document submitted by the lawyers, it turns out that Google continues to collect data even if users have specifically enabled the option that should block the latter. “Google wrongly convinced consumers that changing their account and device settings would allow users to protect their privacy,” said Capital Washington Attorney General Karl Racine.

Relevant data is obtained specifically from certain apps, web activity, Wi-Fi connections, and certain Bluetooth interactions.

Deficiencies identified (which Google disputes) over the past few years
Prosecutors, each taking legal action in their respective federal states, say violations continued between 2014 and 2019 and even beyond. For its part, Google claims this class action lawsuit is based on “false claims and outdated claims.” We have always included data protection options in our products and offered to effectively control geolocation data.”

However, the lawyers behind this new action believe that Google has implemented some tricks that will have a subtle impact on users’ choice of options.

Google reminds us that in recent years it has made efforts to improve the privacy and privacy of many of its users, for example, with options that allow geolocation data to be deleted over time or to search for a location or address without this information being stored. . As lawsuits follow each other, new tech giants will once again have to defend their case.

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