“The Attorney General and the contingency fee lawyers filing this lawsuit appear to have mischaracterized our services,” Google told The Post in a statement. “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 lawsuit is the latest in a long string of legal actions against Google over privacy issues. Google has recently been fined $1.7 billion in the EU for abusive advertising practices and $170 million by the US FTC for illegally collecting data about children watching YouTube cartoons, to name just two notorious cases. Besides Arizona, other states and the US federal government are also probing the company over privacy and antitrust issues.
On top of illegal data collection claims, Brnovich argued that Google changed tracking defaults “without informing the user, much less seeking or obtaining consent.” The state also accused Google of “uncooperative conduct, delay tactics and general failure to comply” with demands for records.
“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 told the WaPo. “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.”