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Google pays $29.5 million in location tracking lawsuits

Google settled two lawsuits paying $9.5m and $20m over claims the company tracked its user’s location without their consent.

The tech giant settled lawsuits from Indiana and Washington, DC, over ‘deceptive and unfair’ whereabouts monitoring practices. Lawsuits from both states alleged that Google tracked user location without their permission.

“My office reached a settlement with Google requiring the company to pay $9.5 million for deceiving and manipulating consumers—including by using “dark patterns” to trick users and gain access to their location data,” DC Attorney General Karl Racine said in a tweet.

Apart from coughing up close to $30m, Google pledged to issue a pop-up notification to users with location history or app activity enabled at the time of notification. The company will also disclose whether app settings allow the company to collect location information.

Last November, Google agreed to a record $391.5 million multistate settlement, which also requires the company to be more transparent about location tracking and limits Google’s use and storage of certain types of location information.

Google used to enable Web & App Activity settings for every user setting up a Google account. The settings allowed the company to collect location data. Authorities claimed that in doing so, the company violated state consumer protection laws since 2014.

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