Google collected location data even after users had turned off location sharing, and made privacy settings difficult for users to find. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a lawsuit against Google last May, alleging that the company illegally tracked the location of Android users without their consent, even though users had disabled features of location tracking. The lawsuit suggested that Google kept location tracking in the background for certain features and only stopped the practice when users turned off system-level tracking.
Google acknowledged that it was difficult to stop the company from determining your home and work locations, and complained that there was “no way” to give third-party apps your location without also handing them to Google.
Google recently improved privacy. Android 12 will have an “approximate” location option in addition to a privacy dashboard and other controls. If the allegations hold up, however, the company may have an uphill battle ahead – they suggest Google was determined to collect data despite Android users’ preferences.