Judge: Google must defend Arizona privacy charges in court

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services 1 hr ago Comments

F- Google will have to go to court to defend against charges that it secretly invades the privacy of Arizona consumers.

In a 21-page ruling made public this week, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason rejected claims by the internet giant that its admitted practices of tracking and collecting information on users is legal. He said that Attorney General Mark Brnovich presented enough information to show the likelihood that the company’s conduct violates the Arizona Consumer Protection Act.

Thomason’s conclusions do not guarantee the state will win its case. But it essentially clears the way for Brnovich and the outside attorneys his office has hired to take the case to a jury.

The Arizona case is is separate from lawsuits that various states filed earlier this week alleging deceptive location tracking practices. Those are based on more general claims of privacy.

By contrast, Brnovich is specifically depending on Arizona’s own consumer protection laws. And Thomson said there is sufficient evidence at this point to suggest that what Google is doing appears to violate them.

There was no immediate response from Google.

Central to the lawsuit is the contention that the company not only collects and stores location data but deliberately makes it difficult for those who use Android phones that operate on the Google-created operating system to know what information is being sent. Brnovich also argues that the company does not make it simple for people to turn off tracking and hides the fact that even if customers turn off location history that data is still transmitted.

But more than Android-powered phones are at issue.


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January 2022