Falsely claims users can opt out
December 11, 2018
Google CEO Sundar Pichai lied to Congress during testimony today when he claimed that users could opt out of Google’s location tracking services, a claim that the Associated Press previously found to be false.
During his appearance in front of the the House Judiciary committee for a hearing entitled: Transparency & Accountability: Examining Google and its Data Collection, Use and Filtering Practices, Pichai claimed that users had control of what information Google stored about them.
“For Google services, you have a choice of what information is collected, and we make it transparent,” Pichai said, adding, “We give clear toggles, by category, where they can decide whether that information is collected, stored, or – more importantly – if they decide to stop using it.”
However, this is categorically untrue.
As an investigation by the Associated Press back in August confirmed, Google is tracking the location of its users even when the location tracking option is turned off.
“An Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so,” the news agency reported.
Even with the option to pause location history turned off, “Some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking,” states the report.
Google’s maps app stores a snapshot of your location whenever you open it, daily weather updates on Android also record your rough location and Google searches also pinpoint and store your precise latitude and longitude down to a single square foot.
Before Pichai gave his testimony, he was confronted by Alex Jones and Roger Stone.
— Rob Dew (@DewsNewz) December 11, 2018
Anti-censorship activists who accuse Google of working with the Chinese government to out political dissidents have also made their presence felt at the hearing.
— Cassandra Fairbanks ❤️⏳ (@CassandraRules) December 11, 2018
Watch live stream coverage of the hearing below.