Google Paying $29.5 Million To Settle Lawsuits Over User Location Tracking

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Will Young

Google has agreed to pay a total of $29.5 million to settle two lawsuits regarding the company’s geographic tracking of their users.

Google used location data from Indiana consumers to build detailed user profiles and to target ads — but wasn’t transparent with users about those practices, since at least 2014, said Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita (R), whose state filed a suit against the company, along with Washington, D.C.

Google is paying the state of Indiana $20 million to resolve the state’s lawsuit over the company’s “deceptive location-tracking practices,” Rokita stated in a statement on Thursday.

“This settlement is another manifestation of our steadfast commitment to protect Hoosiers from Big Tech’s intrusive schemes,” Rokita went on. “We will continue holding these companies accountable for their improper manipulation of consumers.”

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine (D) tweeted on Friday, that his office, too, had reached a settlement with Google over the location tracking, for $9.5 million. He said Google intentionally tricked customers in order to gain total access to their location data. Google made it “nearly impossible” for users to prevent their location from being tracked, he argued.

Racine said that part of the settlement requires Google to be required to make clear to its customers how their location information is collected, stored, sold and used.

Several states launched lawsuits at Google, following a sickening Associated Press story came out in 2018, revealing the massive extent of Google’s customer location tracking.

In November, Google agreed to pay a record $391 million to settle an investigation into its tracking practices launched by a coalition of 40 states. Officials had complained that Google was even tracking customers who had opted out of being tracked.

Some may champion how that was the largest privacy-related multi-state settlement in U.S. history, however I find it absolutely dystopian.

Google did not immediately respond to inquiry about the latest settlement. But in November, the company claimed that its stalkeresque location-tracking practices had already been dropped years before the previous settlement.

In other news, the internet we have today, devoid of privacy (by design), with every click bringing a new dopamine-spiking (by design) notification, image, sound, or all 3 – that internet wasn’t originally the intention. It used to be totally freaky to use your real name as a username. It used to be slow. It used to be for all the nerds and really dedicated people, because it wasn’t small enough to take with you wherever you went. It really felt kinda like the wild west – anything could happen, and one minute it could be awesome and the next you could be partying with lemons. May God bless (and bleach) your eyes if you understood that reference.

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One thought on “Google Paying $29.5 Million To Settle Lawsuits Over User Location Tracking

  1. I sure hope this explains what has happened to my accounts. Just got a email from the Google team saying my location had been left on very suspicious.

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