Google sued in US over claims of illegal location tracking

In a lawsuit filed against Google, the US state of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has alleged that the search engine giant violated privacy of Android users by tracking their location without their proper consent, The Washington Post reported.

For certain features, like weather and Chrome browser, Google allowed location tracking to run in the background despite users switching off app-specific location tracking, the suit alleged.

“At some point, people or companies that have a lot of money think they can do whatever the hell they want to do, and feel like they are above the law,” Brnovich was quoted as saying by The Post in an interview reported on Wednesday.

“I wanted Google to get the message that Arizona has a state consumer fraud act. They may be the most innovative company in the world, but that doesn’t mean they’re above the law.”

The Arizona Attorney General wants Google to pay back the residents profits the company might have earned from monetizing their data.

“The Attorney General and the contingency fee lawyers filing this lawsuit appear to have mischaracterized our services,” a Google spokesperson told The Verge.

“We have always built privacy features into our products and provided robust controls for location data. We look forward to setting the record straight,” the spokesperson added.

Technology giants, including Google, have faced allegations of user privacy violations on many occasions, prompting politicians in the US to talk of stricter regulations and even breaking up “Big Tech”.