PHOENIX — Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and 47 other states AGs are launching a major investigation into Google.
The investigation will focus on advertising, search manipulation and how Google collects, buys and sells your data to companies.
Mark Brnovich is part of an eight-person executive committee that’s been the driving force to bring this investigation to life.
He says the lawmakers in Washington won’t step up and do anything about this, so the AG’s are the ones who have to make this happen.
"This has been a huge priority for me since I’ve been attorney general," said Brnovich.
Those annoying pop-ups appear on our phones and computers every day, oftentimes right after you perform a Google search. Well, it bugs Attorney General Mark Brnovich to no end too. He says the data collecting by Google is out of control.
"These companies, as they get bigger and bigger and more powerful, there’s really no competition. There’s been no oversight by the federal government and so we, as states' attorneys general, a bipartisan group, are stepping in saying we want to see what’s going on. There’s important issues of privacy. Even being manipulated when it comes to your search results. The ads you’re seeing and not seeing," said Brnovich.
The investigation will focus on advertising and how companies use your search results to target ads on your phone and computer. The investigation will also look into YouTube, another platform owned by Google.
"There’s a consolidation in the tech in the past they’ve been irresponsible with some of the content they’ve provided. That’s advertising and piracy of movies and their YouTube channel, essentially having terrorist videos on there to fund terrorism. There’s all these issues connected to that," said Brnovich.
Brnovich said this is about consumer protection and making sure your private actions online are kept private and not sold, just so you can be targeted by one of those annoying pop-up ads.
"So there’s all this information that’s being collected and stored, traded bought and sold and many times without your consent," added Brnovic.
It’s not clear at this point when Google will face questioning by lawmakers. But one option that is being explored by anti-trust regulators is forcing Google to create a separate company for their search engine platform.