Google Gets Off Easy In Location Tracking Lawsuits

Google has settled two more of the many location tracking lawsuits it had been facing over the past year, and this time the search giant is getting an even better deal: just $29.5 million to resolve complaints filed in Indiana and Washington DC with no admission of wrongdoing.

The cases filed in the Midwestern state and the capital are similar to those settled elsewhere in the US in the last 12 months and center on allegations that Google deceived users into handing over location data, which it then turned into billions in advertising dollars.

Karl Racine, attorney general of Washington DC until his term ended yesterday, called the settlement [PDF] a win because “Google must also make clear to consumers how their location data is collected, stored, and used.” 

Racine said his office filed its suit because Google’s behavior “made it nearly impossible for users to stop their location from being tracked.” Washington DC’s portion of the two settlements totals $9.5 million.

Indiana settled [PDF] for $20 million, which Attorney General Todd Rokita described as “another manifestation of our steadfast commitment to protect Hoosiers from Big Tech’s intrusive schemes.” 

According to Rokita’s office, the data collected by Google “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.”

As a point of reference, Google reported $69.1 billion in earnings in

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