Google Sued for Unfairly Profiting from User Location Data
Attorneys general from Washington, D.C., Texas, Washington, and Indiana are suing Google for deceiving consumers to access their location data unfairly.
One suit has already been filed in the superior court of the District of Columbia, and the other states are expected to file soon. The attorneys general are accusing Google of tricking users into providing their location data and misleading them on how to protect their privacy on the platform.
“Google’s misleading, ambiguous, and incomplete descriptions of these settings all but guarantee that consumers will not understand when their location is collected and retained by Google or for what purposes,” the D.C. lawsuit reads.
“And, in reality, regardless of the settings they select, consumers who use Google products have no option but to allow the Company to collect, store, and use their location.”
The lawsuit claims that Google consistently prompts users to give more and more of their location data “inadvertently or out of frustration” while also using “dark patterns,” or in-built design tools.
“Google uses tricks to continuously seek to track a user’s location,” D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine said.
“This suit, by four attorneys general, on a bipartisan basis, is an overdue enforcement action against a flagrant violator of privacy and the laws of our states.”