Washington, D.C.-based law firm Cooper & Kirk is pitching in on the Arizona attorney general’s probe into Google’s location tracking practices.
The firm first dove into the role in August, according to an outside counsel agreement from the office of the state Attorney General Mark Brnovich to Cooper & Kirk managing partner David Thompson. According to the document, Brnovich is probing whether a technology company—reported to be Google—deceived consumers by tracking and storing their location data, even after people believed they opted out of such tracking. While the letter redacts the name of the company, Google is the company facing scrutiny, according to state and national media reports.
Cooper & Kirk is working for Brnovich’s office on a contingency fee. If the defendant challenges the fee arrangement, however, and Brnovich and the firm are unsuccessful in defending it, Cooper & Kirk agreed to represent Arizona at a maximum hourly billing rate of $400 an hour per partner, and $250 an hour for associates.
The letter also indicates the state will seek attorney fees and costs from Google, if it brings litigation against the tech giant.
The attorney general is peering into the company’s practices after the Associated Press reported that Google services on Android and Apple devices keep tabs on their users, even after they opted to turn off their “location history.” The attorney general is specifically considering whether the company has violated a state law, the Consumer Fraud Act.
Arizona’s attorney general and Cooper & Kirk appear to be investigating the practice alone, but the company could face scrutiny from other states and federal regulators as well.
Plaintiffs in a class action complaint, filed last month in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, target Google for collecting users’ location data against their wishes, which they say violates California state law. Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein and Carney Bates & Pulliam represent the plaintiffs in the suit.