According to recent court documents, Google has made it harder to turn off user location. He is also said to have put pressure on mobile manufacturers.
Should we be really surprised? According to court documents from a consumer fraud case against Google in Arizona (United States), the web giant has done everything to make location settings more difficult to find in Android smartphones so that users do not disable them. The reason is simple: not to harm the tech giant’s lucrative advertising business.
According to the documents made public, Google has conducted its research and seen a big increase in users disabling location settings when they are simply presented to them. The US giant would therefore have pressured Android smartphone manufacturers to make these settings more discreet. The documents specifically mention LG which allegedly moved these settings to the second page.
“Basically, Google’s efforts were aimed at minimizing the importance of location settings, as Google’s own research has shown that users are more likely to [les] disable when they have a clear option to do so, indicates a passage of the documents of the trial, quoted by Cnet. Google has attempted to convince these operators and manufacturers to conceal the location settings – or make them less visible – through active misrepresentation and / or withholding, removing or omitting facts available to Google regarding user experience. in order to alleviate their privacy concerns. ”
Even with location tracking turned off, it seems that the company can track people’s activities. It would suffice for the location to be authorized for a single app in the Google ecosystem. In that trial, Jack Menzel, the former vice president responsible for overseeing Google Maps, admitted in his testimony that the only way Google could not be able to determine a user’s home and place of work would be to set these locations randomly yourself in order to trick the phone.
According to the
, in 2019, more than 80% of Google’s revenue, or $ 135 billion, was generated by advertising.
We began our investigation of Google following a 2018 @AP article that detailed how users are lulled into a false sense of security, believing Google provides users the ability to actually disable their Location History. https://t.co/R4hmXBeW8q— Mark Brnovich (@GeneralBrnovich) May 27, 2020