In a tweet on Wednesday, Arizona’s Attorney General Mark Brnovich said “Google collects detailed information about its users, including their physical locations, to target users for advertising. Often, this is done without the users’ consent or knowledge”.
Arizona has filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against Alphabet Inc’s Google alleging that the tech giant used “deceptive” and “unfair” practices to obtain the location data of users.
The lawsuit comes at a time when technology companies are facing regulatory scrutiny over their policies and data monitoring practices.
“The Attorney General and the contingency fee lawyers filing this lawsuit appear to have mischaracterized our services. We have always built privacy features into our products and provided robust controls for location data”, said a spokesman from Google in an emailed statement.
The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, argues that Google‘s mobile operating system, Android, has been setup such that it deceived device owners about the protections afforded to their personal data.
“When consumers try to opt out of Google’s collection of location data, the company is continuing to find misleading ways to obtain information and use it for profit,” said Brnovich.
Earlier this year in February, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas had also filed a lawsuit against Google alleging that its educational software collects young students’ personal information without the required parental consent.
Google sells its Chromebook laptops to schools around the world which comes bundled with its free or low-cost G Suite for Education software package, which includes email and writing tools.