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Justice accuses Google of abusive collection of users’ personal data

Justice accuses Google of abusive collection of users’ personal data

Justice accuses Google of abusive collection of users’ personal data

The District of Columbia and three states are suing Google. They claim the tech giant tricked consumers into gaining access to their location data. And this, while these users had changed their privacy settings to prevent data collection.

Choices not respected

After a three-year investigation, Karl A. Racine, the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, is suing Google. The starting point of the investigation is a report by the Associated Press. According to this, Google would record the movements of its users… Even though the location function would be deactivated in the service settings. The data collected comes from internet activity, app usage, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth interactions.

“Google falsely misled consumers into believing that changing their account and device settings would allow them to protect their privacy and control what personal data the company might have access to,” Racine said in a statement. . “The truth is that, contrary to Google’s statements, the company continues to systematically monitor customers and take advantage of their data”, warns the prosecutor. The period concerned would extend from 2014 to at least 2019.

misleading statements

The search engine also allegedly tricked users and pressured them to enable location tracking more.

For example, Google claimed that the products would not work properly if the location services setting was disabled. While, according to the complaint, they were not necessary for the use of the application.

Prosecutors are also seeking reimbursement of revenue generated from the collection and use of geolocation data, as well as fines of an unspecified amount.

Google’s response

Asked by AFP, Google said the allegations made by the attorneys general were false. “We will vigorously defend ourselves and establish the truth,” a Google spokesperson said during the interview.

The company promises to have implemented many changes to its privacy policies. According to the spokesperson, these changes make it possible to automatically erase geolocation data over time or to search for an address or place without the data being stored.

In the United States, federal and state regulators are trying to limit the power and business practices of Silicon Valley giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple. They have filed dozens of antitrust, consumer protection, privacy and trade lawsuits. So these lawsuits are part of a growing regulatory offensive.

Source: 20minutes

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