Google has agreed to pay a total of $29.5 million to settle two lawsuits over the company’s tracking of customer locations.
Google used location data from Indiana consumers to build detailed user profiles and target ads — but misled 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 Indiana $20 million to resolve the state’s lawsuit over the company’s “deceptive location-tracking practices,” Rokita said in a statement released Thursday.
“This settlement is another manifestation of our steadfast commitment to protect Hoosiers from Big Tech’s intrusive schemes,” Rokita added. “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 had also reached a settlement with Google over the issue for $9.5 million. He said Google tricked customers to gain access to their location data. Google made it “nearly impossible” for users to prevent their location from being tracked, he argued.
Racine said that as part of the settlement, Google will be required to make clear to its customers how their location data is collected, stored and used.
Several states launched lawsuits against Google following a disturbing Associated Press story in 2018 revealing the extent of Google’s customer location tracking.
The company agreed in November 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.
It was the largest privacy-related multi-state settlement in U.S. history.
Google did not immediately respond about the latest settlement. But the company said in November that its controversial location-tracking practices had already been dropped years before the previous settlement.