According to the latest news, documents in Arizona’s lawsuit against Google show that company executives and engineers were aware that Google is making it hard for smartphone users to keep location information private. This was first reported by Insider.
The documents indicate that Google continued to collect location data even after users turned off location sharing, and made privacy settings difficult for users to find. The documents also reveal Google pressured phone manufacturers into keeping privacy settings hidden as the settings were popular with users.
Back in last May, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a lawsuit against Google alleging the company illegally tracked Android users’ location without their consent.
In simple words, it claimed Google used to make location trackers forcefully run in the background even users turned it off. The documents claim these trackers stopped working only when users disabled system-level tracking which most users won’t possibly do.
The documents show one Google employee asked if there was “no way to give a third party app your location and not Google?”
In an email to The Verge, Google spokesperson José Castañeda said that Brnovich “and our competitors driving this lawsuit have gone out of their way to mischaracterize our services. We have always built privacy features into our products and provided robust controls for location data. We look forward to setting the record straight.”