WASHINGTON – During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today, Senator Josh Hawley led a heated back and forth with a Google representative over the company’s tracking and data collection. Senator Hawley scrutinized Google’s lack of transparency around the information it collects when Android users turn location services off, highlighting the fact they continue to gather customers’ valuable, personal information even when a phone is not in use.
Google Senior Privacy Counsel Will DeVries tells Senator Josh Hawley the data they collect on consumers “is complicated” – and the Senator responds. To watch, click the image above or.
Senator Hawley: “Actually it’s not complicated. What’s complicated is you don’t allow consumers to stop your tracking of them. You tell them that you do, you would anticipate that they do, a consumer would have a reasonable expectation based on what you’ve told them that they’re not being tracked but in fact you’re still tracking it. You’re still gathering the information and you’re still using it.”
Senator Josh Hawley concludes his remarks. or click the image above.
Senator Hawley: “Here’s my basic concern, is that Americans have not signed up for this. They think that the products that you’re offering them are free – they’re not free. They think that they can opt out of the tracking that you’re performing – they can’t meaningfully opt out. It’s kind of like that old Eagles song, you know, ‘you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.’ That’s kind of what it’s like dealing with your company and that’s a problem for the American consumer. It’s a real problem, and for somebody who has two small kids at home, the idea that your company and others like it are sweeping up information to build a user profile on them that will track every step, every movement, and monetize that, and they can’t do anything about it, and I can’t do anything about it – that’s a big problem that this Congress needs to address. Than you, Mr. Chairman.”