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Google Sued Over Consumer Location Data Collection

  • The AGs of the District of Columbia, Indiana, Texas, and Washington sued Google LLC over allegations that it misled consumers with Google accounts on their ability to control how Google collects and uses their location data in violation of state consumer protection laws.
  • The complaints allege that despite leaving consumers with the impression that they can opt out of being tracked, consumers cannot prevent Google from collecting and profiting from their location data when they use Android phones or Google products, such as the Google search engine, Google Photos, or Google Maps.
  • In addition, the complaints allege that Google attempts to use deceptive design choices—so-called “dark patterns”—to dissuade users from opting out of providing data to Google, such as, for example, dissuading users from disabling location tracking in apps by claiming that it will interfere with the proper functioning of the app. The complaints seek injunctive relief, disgorgement, and civil penalties.
  • Separately, Google was sued again by Texas AG Ken Paxton over allegations that it used misleading and false radio advertisements to promote its Pixel 4 smartphone in violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices – Consumer Protection Act. The complaint seeks injunctive relief and civil penalties.