Goggle reportedly settles lawsuits in Washington DC and Indiana for a total of $29.5 million. It will now be easy for people to unsubscribe or even opt out of the location tracking feature of Google.
Goggle Reportedly Settles Lawsuits in Washington DC and Indiana
Tech giant company Google has now settled two privacy lawsuits, one brought in by the state of Indiana and the other by Washington DC, for $20 million and $9.5 million respectively over the company’s tracking practices as per reports on Friday from Engadget and Associated Press. The search company has now agreed to make it much easier for users and people to opt-out of location tracking.
The suits which were filed by the state attorneys general back in January alleged that the tech company made it “nearly impossible” for people to opt-out of location tracking fully. DC Attorney General Karl Racine stated that Google violated the consumer protection procedures act by continuing with its practices of tracking user data so it would continue to make money off users.
And while Google however agreed to pay $391.5 million to a coalition of states back in November, Indiana branched off and launched its very own separate lawsuit. The split, however, made the state of Indiana get double the money according to a press release from the office of the Indiana attorney general.
What Indiana Attorney General’s Office Has to Say about the Development
“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,” as per the Indiana attorney general’s office. And while Racine has tweeted about the settlement, his office on the other hand has not published a press release just yet.
Google Has Had To Settle a Slew of Government-Led Lawsuits in Recent Times
It has been an expensive year so far for Google as it has had to settle a slew of government-led lawsuits. From a whopping $365 million fine in Russia to another $157 million fine in France, Google isn’t immune from the scrutiny of the government. The scope of these fines varies, with the France lawsuit focusing directly on user tracking, whereas the Russian lawsuit dinged Google for failing to take away prohibited content in regard to the Ukraine war.
Google, which also owns the mobile operating system Android, in India was hit with a $113 million fine from the Competition Commission of the country for favoring its own apps on Android. Given the scope of Google as the maker of the world’s most popular search engine, web browser, and mobile phone operating system, it will always remain a big target for regulators.
Google’s Solution to Its User Location Tracking Practices
Google has however agreed to maintain a webpage where it will be detailing its location tracking policies and practices and will also show people just how their location data will be utilized. The tech company also cannot share the precise location of a person with third-party advertisers without the explicit consent of the person and must also delete the said data within 30 days.