Google has agreed to pay the District of Columbia $9.5 million as part of a settlement for allegedly “deceiving and manipulating” users in order to gain access to their location data. In addition, the company will pay the state of Indiana a $20 million settlement for claimed “deceptive” location-tracking practices.
In the District of Columbia case, Attorney General Karl Racine believed that Google deceived and manipulated users in order to access their location data:
As part of the settlement deal, Google pledged not to share users’ exact location data with third-party advertisers without their express permission. The business has also promised to erase any obtained location data within 30 days, provide customers information on how to delete their gathered data, restrict the amount of time Google maintains this data, and make it simple for users to opt out of being tracked.
The office of Attorney Racine discovered that Google used “Dark pattern” approaches to encourage users to enable locations by prompting them to allow certain applications to collect their whereabouts.
Meanwhile, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita said the settlement is “a manifestation” of the government’s “intense commitment to protect Hoosiers from Big Tech’s intrusive schemes.”
The complaint claimed that Google exploited location data acquired from Indiana residents to create detailed user profiles and target advertisements.
Google agreed to pay a total of $391 million in a settlement involving “location tracking” lawsuits with 40 US states.