Unproven documents in Arizona’s lawsuit against Google suggest that company executives and engineers knew the search giant had made it difficult for smartphone users to protect location data.
Despite the fact that users stopped sharing their locations, Google collected location data, and Google’s privacy settings made searching difficult. Insiders claim that Google put pressure on phone manufacturers to hide privacy settings based on the documents because the settings are popular with users.
According to the Google spokesman, Jose Castaneda, “our competitors are doing everything they can to misrepresent our services. We have always built strong privacy features into our products. We have built and provided controls for location data. We look forward to setting the record straight.”
An Arizona Attorney General filed a complaint against Google last May alleging that the company illegally tracked Android users’ location even when they disabled location tracking.
According to the lawsuit, Google kept tracking users’ location behind the scenes for some features and stopped doing so only after users disabled system-level tracking.
An unproven document reveals that a Google employee asked, “Is there no way to position a third-party app and not Google’s?” The website Insider says the company doesn’t appear eager to speak with the media.