Google to Pay $29.5 Million to Settle Lawsuits Over Person Location Monitoring

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Jan 02, 2023Ravie LakshmananPrivateness / Location Monitoring

Google has agreed to pay a complete of $29.5 million to settle two completely different lawsuits introduced by Indiana and Washington, D.C., over its “misleading” location monitoring practices.

The search and promoting large is required to pay $9.5 million to D.C. and $20 million to Indiana after the states sued the corporate for expenses that the corporate tracked customers’ areas with out their categorical consent.

The settlement provides to the $391.5 million Google agreed to pay to 40 states over related allegations final month. The corporate continues to be dealing with two extra location-tracking lawsuits in Texas and Washington.


The lawsuits got here in response to revelations in 2018 that the web firm continued to trace customers’ whereabouts on Android and iOS via a setting referred to as Web & App Activity regardless of turning Location History choices off.

Google was additionally accused of using dark patterns, which seek advice from design selections meant to deceive customers into finishing up actions that violate their privateness and overshare data with out their information or affirmation.

“Google makes use of location information collected from Indiana customers to construct detailed consumer profiles and goal adverts, however Google has deceived and misled customers about its practices since no less than 2014,” the state said in an announcement final week.

Pursuant to the settlement, the corporate has been ordered to inform customers with Location Historical past and Net & App Exercise enabled about whether or not location information is being collected, alongside steps customers can take to disable the settings and delete the info.

Google can be anticipated to take care of an internet web page that discloses all the kinds and sources of location information it gathers in addition to chorus from sharing customers’ exact location data with third-party advertisers with out express consent.

What’s extra, it might want to robotically delete location information derived from a “gadget or from IP addresses in Net & App Exercise inside 30 days” of acquiring the data.

The Mountain View-based firm, in November 2022, famous that the lawsuits are primarily based on “outdated product insurance policies” and that it has rolled out plenty of privateness and transparency enhancements that permit customers to auto-delete location information tied to their accounts.

Google additional acknowledged it would begin offering extra “detailed” data relating to the Net & App Exercise management, along with launching an data hub and a brand new toggle to show off each Location Historical past and Net & App Exercise settings and delete previous information in “one easy circulation.”

“Given the huge stage of monitoring and surveillance that expertise corporations can embed into their broadly used merchandise, it’s only truthful that customers learn of how necessary consumer information, together with details about their each transfer, is gathered, tracked, and utilized by these corporations,” D.C. Legal professional Common Karl A. Racine said.

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