Five years after the Associated Press published an explosive story regarding the extent of Google’s tracking services, the tech giant has reached a $29.5 million settlement with the state of Indiana and the District of Columbia. Of the nearly $30 million settlement, Indiana will receive $20 million while the District of Columbia will receive $9.5 million. Google has also agreed not present misleading information regarding a user’s location or location history.
“This settlement is another manifestation of our steadfast commitment to protect Hoosiers from Big Tech’s intrusive schemes,” Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita said, per The Hill.
“We will continue holding these companies accountable for their improper manipulation of consumers.”
Rokita’s office has accused the company of using location data to build detailed user profiles and put forth targeted ads, but has misled users about its work for nearly a decade. Similarly, Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine has accused Google of employing “dark patterns” to manipulate users into giving away their location data.
Indiana and Washington, D.C. are hardly the first areas of the nation to sue Google regarding its tracking services. Two months ago, the tech giant agreed to pay a $392 million settlement to 40 states across the nation.
“Consistent with those improvements, we settled an investigation with 40 U.S. state attorneys general based on outdated product policies that we changed years ago. As well as a financial settlement, we will be making updates in the coming months to provide even greater controls and transparency over location data,” Google stated.
“[This] settlement is another step along the path of giving more meaningful choices and minimizing data collection while providing more helpful services.”