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Google Deceived Consumers about How it Profits from their Location Data, Attorneys General Allege


D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine is one of four attorneys general who have filed lawsuits alleging that Google deceived consumers.

Credit: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post

Attorneys general from D.C. and three states plan to sue Google on Monday, arguing that the search giant deceived consumers to gain access to their location data.

The lawsuits, expected to be filed in the District of Columbia, Texas, Washington and Indiana, allege the company made misleading promises about its users' ability to protect their privacy through Google account settings, dating from at least 2014. The suits seek to stop Google from engaging in these practices and to fine the company.

The complaints also allege the company has deployed "dark patterns," or design tricks that can subtly influence users' decisions in ways that are advantageous for a business. The lawsuits say Google has designed its products to repeatedly nudge or pressure people to provide more and more location data, "inadvertently or out of frustration." The suits allege this violates various state and D.C. consumer protection laws.

From The Washington Post
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