Google headquarters are located in Mountain View, Calif. | Courtesy of Tobias Haase/Flickr

Hawley seeks information on Google’s data collection practices, search preferences

Missouri’s attorney general is trying to determine if Google has violated the state’s antitrust and consumer protection laws.

Attorney General Josh Hawley announced Monday that he is issuing a subpoena to the tech giant. Among other things, the Republican official wants to see how Google is gathering personal information from users.  According to a news release, he also wants to know if Google is manipulating its search algorithm to “preference websites owned by Google and to demote websites that compete with Google.”

Hawley said it’s important to find out how Google handles sensitive information – especially after large companies like Equifax recently suffered massive data breaches.

“Whether that’s the Google search engine, Google mail, Google flights, Google shopping – Google is ubiquitous,” Hawley said in an interview with St. Louis Public Radio. “Their market power is absolutely enormous. And of course, the data it collects is vast … and affects millions of Missourians.”

Read more: St. Louis Public Radio, Southeast Missourian

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