Google tracked geolocation even when the feature was disabled and made it difficult to find privacy settings on Android.
Business Insider reports that Google deliberately complicated the Android interface for collecting user geolocation data.
This is stated in the unedited court documents that came into the possession of the publication. From them it became known that the company ordered to make the search for privacy settings difficult, and also put pressure on manufacturers to keep the settings hidden in the depths of the interface, as they became popular among users.
Google turned to third-party companies, LG in particular, and tried to convince them to hide the settings.
At the same time, Google employees themselves in business correspondence reported that they would like to refuse unnecessary data transfer. Engineer One of Google’s engineers in 2019 noted that describing the settings can confuse even an expert who understands privacy issues.
In a conversation with The Verge, Google spokesman Jose Castaneda accused “the competitors behind the lawsuit” of compromising the company.
Earlier, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a lawsuit against Google in May last year, where he said that the company is illegally tracking users’ locations and keeps these tools running in the background, even if the user turns them off in the corresponding settings.