Unsealed Google lawsuit docs show its own engineers were confused by privacy settings

Photo by Kristina Alexanderson / Flickr/CC BY 2.0

In internal emails unsealed Friday by an Arizona judge in an ongoing consumer fraud lawsuit, Google employees admitted that some parts of their applications’ location privacy settings were confusing and could be misleading. 

Unsealed Google lawsuit docs show its own engineers were confused by privacy settings

In May, Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a heavily redacted lawsuit alleging that Google’s data-collection processes had violated the state’s Consumer Fraud Act. 

The Attorney General’s Office began investigating Google after an Associated Press article in 2018 revealed certain ways the company tracks users movements and the difficulties of removing those tracking permissions. 

“I agree with the article,” an unnamed Google employee wrote in an internal email released Friday along with other exhibits that are part of the state’s case. “Location off should mean location off; not except for this case or that case.” 

Alongside the release of the heavily redacted exhibits is a new version of the state’s previous complaint with sections that had previously been redacted now visible. 

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