The aggressive collection of location data of users is something that Google has been accused on many occasions. But now its employees too have admitted that the tech giant made it extremely difficult for users to find location settings in Android phones. According to court documents, Google did this deliberately so that users won’t be able to turn the location setting off. The move is aimed at gathering data of users, which in turn is used by the company for its lucrative ad business. As per the lawsuit documents, research conducted by Google revealed that a substantial amount of users tend to disable location settings when they get easy access to options.
Google sensed this as a problem and pressured smartphone makers to make finding location settings harder. The documents were submitted after Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a consumer fraud case against Google last year. “The company’s own research showed that people are more likely to disable location settings if they have easy access to it. The tech giant tried convincing smartphone makers and carriers to make the setting less prominent through active misrepresentation,” reads an unredacted passage from documents. According to reports, one of the Android smartphone makers that Google managed to create pressure on was LG.
According to the lawsuit, LG moved the location toggle to the second page of settings. However, LG has not commented on the reports. Google too has not immediately responded. It must be noted that the lawsuit was filed following an investigation in 2018. It was found during the investigation by a news outlet that Google continued to track the location history of users even after they turned off a setting called Location History. The company used to track all location history, though nothing would be recorded on the app. This is not a hidden fact that Google generates a huge amount of money through advertising operation. This is bolstered by personal information it gathers from people using its products.