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Deep Dive: Google sued for deceptively collecting user location data and using it for targeted ads

The lawsuit points out how Google uses dark patterns to gather user location data, while at the same time portraying itself as privacy-focused company.

"Since at least 2014, Google has deceived consumers regarding how their location is tracked and used by the company and consumers’ ability to protect their privacy by stopping this tracking. Google leads consumers to believe that consumers are in control of whether Google collects and retains information about their location and how that information is used. In reality, consumers who use Google products cannot prevent Google from collecting, storing, and profiting from their location," a lawsuit filed by the District of Columbia alleged. Attorneys general from Texas, Washington, and Indiana also filed similar suits in their own states. Google's major source of revenue is digital advertising and to support this "lucrative arm of its business," it harvests consumers' location data and uses it for targeted advertising, the lawsuit adds. This lawsuit builds on one filed by Arizona in 2020 and is one of the many lawsuits that Google is facing. The other major suit is against Google's ad practices filed by seventeen US states, which we've covered in a four-part series. In a statement to The Verge, Google denied the claims in the lawsuit and said: "The attorneys general are bringing a case based on inaccurate claims and outdated assertions about our settings. We have always built privacy features into our products and provided robust controls for location data." What are the allegations against Google? 1. Google’s business model relies on constant surveillance of Google users "Google is an advertising company, but its business is user data," the lawsuit states while…

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