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District of Columbia: AG files lawsuit against Google for secretly tracking consumers' location

Attorney General ('AG') Karl A. Racine announced, on 24 January 2022, that he had filed a lawsuit against Google LLC for deceptively leading consumers to believe that they have control over how their location data is collected and used by Google. In particular, the AG stated that there is effectively no way for consumers to prevent Google from collecting, storing, and profiting from their location data, even if the location history setting is turned off. Moreover, the AG detailed that Google's deceptive location tracking practices impact users of smartphones running on the company's Android operating system, but they also extend to consumers who use any of the Google products.

More specifically, the AG alleged that Google, among other things, harmed consumers by:

  • making it impossible for users to opt out of having their location tracked;
  • deceiving users about their ability to protect their privacy through account settings; and
  • misleading Android users about their ability to protect their privacy through their device setting.

You can read the press release here and the lawsuit here.