Google has settled two privacy lawsuits, one brought by Washington DC and the other by Indiana, for $9.5 million and $20 million, respectively, over its location tracking practices, according to reports from Engadget and the Associated Press on Friday. The search giant has agreed to make it easier for people to opt out of location tracking.
The suits, split allowed Indiana to get double the money, according to a press release from the office of the Indiana attorney general., alleged that Google made it “nearly impossible” for people to fully opt out of location tracking. DC Attorney General Karl Racine said Google violated the Consumer Protection Procedures act by continuing to track user data so that it could continue making money off users. While in November, Indiana branched off and launched its own separate lawsuit. This
“Such data can be used to infer personal details such as political or religious affiliation, income, health status or participation in support groups — as well as major life events such as marriage and the birth of children,” according to the Indiana attorney general’s office.
While Racine tweeted about the settlement, his office hasn’t published a press release.
Google and the DC attorney general’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
as it’s had to settle a slew of government-led lawsuits. From a to a , Google isn’t immune from government scrutiny. The scope of the fines varies, with the France lawsuit focusing on user tracking, whereas the Russian lawsuit dinged Google for failing to remove prohibited content around the Ukraine war.
In India, Google, which also owns the mobile operating system Android, wasfor favoring its own apps on Android. Given Google’s scope as the maker of the world’s most popular search engine, web browser and mobile phone operating system, it will remain a big target for regulators.
Google has agreed to maintain a webpage where it will detail its location tracking policies and practices and will show people how their location data will be used. The company also can’t share a person’s precise location with third-party advertisers without the person’s explicit consent and must delete that data within 30 days.