In a lawsuit accusing Google of deceptive practices, the company agreed to pay a fine of $9.5 million to the state and also tune some of its operations for good.
The lawsuit was charged by Washington DC Attorney General Karl Racine, who accused Google of deceiving users in location tracking practices. In an agreed settlement, the company will be forced to let users know what data is tracked, what is to be shared, and how they can delete it.
A Lawsuit to Correct the Deceptive Practises
Being a tech giant with very needed services to humankind, Google always has the chance of exploiting them if needed. And it’s been doing in some cases – getting slapped with penalties – yet continues to do so.
The latest one is a lawsuit from Washington DC Attorney General Karl Racine, who earlier this year accused the company of deceptive location tracking practices, that abuse users’ privacy.
In his analysis, Google is found to be forcing users to turn on their location in certain apps – even though it’s not necessary. In some cases, the company warns users that the said services may not work without location access!
Calling these “dark patterns” designed to deceive users into carrying out actions that don’t benefit them, Racine pursued a lawsuit against Google – which now resulted in a penalty to the company worth $9.5 million and some operational changes.
Though the penalty doesn’t hit the company much, the proposed changes will. Google is asked to maintain a webpage that notes its location data practices and policies – including the ways for users to access their location settings and details about how each setting impacts Google’s collection, retention, or use of location data.
Further, the company is prevented from sharing any of its users’ precise location data with a third-party advertiser without the users’ explicit consent and should delete the location data “that came from a device or from an IP address in web and app activity within 30 days” of obtaining it.