Oh, Shit is the name of Google’s Monday morning meetings, and the one on August 13, 2018 was quite busy: the topic of discussion was the Associated Press story on how Google saved the location of cell phones, even if the user choose not to disclose their data.
According to documents now released by the Arizona State Attorney’s Office in the lawsuit against the company, even software engineers could not understand Google’s privacy control – say users.
In the e-mails released (attached to a lawsuit still underway for consumer fraud against Google), employees are confused and some of them even disgusted that even though they have disabled the location of the device, they may still be able to be tracked.
“Speaking as a user, WTF? I thought I had disabled the location on my cell phone. The way we do this is enough to confuse even a privacy expert. This is not good, “says a software engineer at the technology giant.
Behind you, like it or not
In 2018, the Associated Press published an article on how Google’s privacy control on Android and iOS devices allowed the user’s location to be stored, even if the user had configured the phone to not do so.
(Today, Google Help says that “even after you turn off Location History, some location data can continue to be saved in other settings […] when you use other services, such as Google Search and Maps. ”)
At the time, the company claimed to provide “clear descriptions of these robust tools and controls so that people can turn them on or off and delete their history at any time.” The explanation did not convince Attorney General Mark Brnovich and, now we know, not even Google’s own engineers.