Sunday, April 14, 2024

Google sued over ‘deceptive’ location tracking

Google is being sued in the U.S. over accusations it deceived people about how to control location tracking, the BBC reports. The legal action refers to a widely reported 2018 revelation that turning off one location-tracking setting in its apps was insufficient to fully disable the feature.

It accuses Google of using so-called dark patterns, marketing techniques that deliberately confuse. Google said the claims were inaccurate and outdated.

The legal action was filed in the District of Columbia. Similar claims were also filed in Texas, Indiana, and Washington state. It refers to an Associated Press report that turning off “Location History” when using Google Maps or Search was insufficient – as a separate setting, Web and App Activity, continued to log location and other personal data.

Researchers at Princeton University found that up to two billion Android and Apple devices could be affected.

“Google has relied on, and continues to rely on, deceptive and unfair practices that make it difficult for users to decline location tracking or to evaluate the data collection and processing to which they are purportedly consenting,” the legal action alleges.

A representative said: “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.”

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