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Photo Illustration: Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona's state attorney general sued Google on Wednesday, accusing the company of violating state law by misleading customers on its location tracking practices.

Why it matters: This opens up yet another legal front for Google at a time when it's also facing antitrust scrutiny at the state and federal level.

Details: Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich began investigating Google's privacy practices in 2018, after an Associated Press investigation found that some Google apps stored location data despite location history being turned off.

  • The lawsuit, filed in state court, alleges Google violated the state's consumer fraud law by misleading customers about whether they were truly able to stop location tracking.
  • "I think it’s very important to protect Arizona consumers, especially the privacy rights of anyone here in Arizona — they’ve been led to believe they could opt out location tracking, but Google continues to invade their personal privacy," Brnovich told Axios. "It’s become nearly impossible to stop Google from tracking your movements."
  • Google clarified the way it handles the storage of location information shortly after the AP published its story.

What they're saying:

“The Attorney General and the contingency fee lawyers filing this lawsuit appear to have mischaracterized our services. We have always built privacy features into our products and provided robust controls for location data. We look forward to setting the record straight.”
— Jose Castaneda, Google spokesperson

Between the lines: This case is separate from the broader, state-led antitrust investigation into Google, although Arizona is also part of that investigation.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with comment from Google.

Go deeper

Sep 3, 2020 - Technology

Why Big Tech is suing the Patent Office

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Apple, Google, Cisco and Intel this week sued the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, challenging the agency's recent rule that it can refuse to adjudicate patent claims while litigation about them is pending in court.

Why it matters: The companies say the rule hurts innovation and their legal rights, letting invalid patents stay on the books while lawsuits slowly wend their way through court.

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Biden embarks on a consequential presidency

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump tried everything to delegitimize the rival who vanquished him. In reality, he's set Joe Biden on course to be a far more consequential U.S. president than he might otherwise have become.

The big picture: President Biden now confronts not just a pandemic, but massive political divisions and an assault on truth — and the aftermath of the assault on the Capitol two weeks ago that threatened democracy itself.