Google employees are as confused about privacy as you are and that's a problem.
Google privacy: People might find Google’s privacy settings confusing, but what is more worrisome is that even Google employees are confused regarding these settings. This has been revealed by the court documents related to a lawsuit on the data collection policies of Google. The lawsuit, which was filed in May 2020 by Mark Brnovich, the Arizona Attorney General, quoted a Google employee as saying that the current user interface felt like it was designed to make things possible, but it was difficult enough that people wouldn’t figure it out.
The lawsuit came about after it came into limelight that the users’ location continued to be tracked and recorded by Google apps using the Android devices, even if the users had chosen to pause their location history.
Brnovich claimed that even the top employees at the tech giant did not know or understand why Google continued to collect the location data of users.
When Google gave a statement, it did little to clarify the situation. Google said that in the case of location information, the company had heard feedback and worked hard to improve the privacy controls. It added that even the “cherry-picked published extracts” stated that the giant aimed to reduce the confusion around the location history settings.
The lawsuit was filed following a news report in 2018 revealed that Google apps on Android and iOS devices continued to store the location data of users irrespective of their selected privacy settings.
Moreover, the internal documents further quoted another employee of the tech giant as saying that they agreed with the 2018 news article and that the option to switch off the location should mean that the location would remain off, without any exceptions.
The news report had explained that when a user merely opens the Google Maps app, it would take a snapshot of the user’s location. Moreover, opting for automatic weather updates would automatically give Google the location of the user. Simply searching for something using Google Search would allow Google to record the exact location of the user and then link it to their Google account.
Brnovich filed the lawsuit in hopes that it would force Google to adhere to the principal that location off means location off.