Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL) Google is being sued by the District of Columbia and three other U.S. states — Texas, Indiana, Washington — on the allegations of using deceptive and unfair practices to obtain consumer location data.
The regulator intends to keep Google from continuing deceptive and unfair practices and maintain customer’s privacy. Also, it expects to force Google to disgorge all profits and benefits obtained from its unlawful practices and to impose civil penalties for violating the Consumer Protection Procedures Act.
The report alleges Google of wrongly tracking customers’ locations since 2014. The filing says that users of Google products cannot prevent the company from collecting, storing and profiting from their location, even if they choose to opt out from sharing location.
Since, Google drives substantial revenues from its digital advertising business, it uses customers’ personal data, including location, to make advertisements accordingly and evaluate the effectiveness of the same.
The District’s investigation into the matter began in 2018 after an article by Associated Press revealed that Google “records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to.” It concluded that “regardless of the settings they select, consumers who use Google products have no option but to allow the Company to collect, store, and use their location.”
Wall Street’s Take
Recently, Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak maintained a Buy rating on Alphabet with a price target of $3,430 (31.1% upside potential).
Consensus among analysts is a Strong Buy based on 27 Buys and 1 Hold. The Alphabet stock price prediction of $3,386.25 implies 29.4% upside potential from current levels. Shares have gained 37.1% over the past year.
Alphabet scores a “Perfect 10” from TipRanks’ Smart Score rating system, indicating that GOOGL has strong potential to outperform market expectations.
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