Google has agreed to pay a total of $29.5 million to settle two separate lawsuits filed by Indiana and Washington, D.C. regarding its misleading location tracking practices.
The search and advertising behemoth has been ordered to pay $9.5 million to the District of Columbia and $20 million to Indiana after both states sued the company on allegations that it tracked users' locations without their permission.
The agreement adds to the $391.5 million that Google already accepted to pay across 40 other states in response to claims of a similar nature. Two further location-tracking complaints against the business are still pending in Texas and Washington.
Read more about this topic on the Economic Times website.
A Peek into Google’s Lawsuit
The lawsuits came in response to discoveries that surfaced in 2018 that the internet provider was still using a feature called Web & App Activity to monitor users' whereabouts on Android and iOS even when Location History settings were off.
"We sued because Google made it nearly impossible for users to stop their location from being tracked. Now, thanks to this settlement, Google must also make clear to consumers how their location data is collected, stored, and used," tweeted DC Attorney General Karl Racine.
Google was also accused of using dark patterns, which are design choices intended to trick users into performing actions that breach their privacy and overshare information without their knowledge or consent.
According to a news release from Indiana state last week, "Google uses location data collected from Indiana consumers to build detailed user profiles and target ads, but Google has deceived and misled users about its practices since at least 2014”.