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Indiana, Washington, Texas, and D.C. sue Google over location tracking

Three states and the District of Colombia sued Google on Monday, claiming the company "deceived consumers to gain access to their location data," The New York Times reports.

The separate lawsuits filed by the attorneys general of Washington, D.C., Texas, Washington, and Indiana allege that Google "misled users of Android phones and of tools like Google Maps and its search engine by continuing to track location information of users who had changed privacy setting to prevent the data collection," writes the Times

"Google has prioritized profits over people," said Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita. "It has prioritized financial earnings over following the law."

The four attorneys general, who have also joined in other antitrust lawsuits against the tech giant, said they hope their cases force the company to stop the alleged activity and pay a fine, per the Times.

In the D.C. lawsuit, for example, Google is accused of collecting and storing a user's location information even if the user has opted out, as well as coercing users to enable more location tracking by misleadingly claming apps wouldn't function properly without doing so, the Times reports.

"Google falsely led consumers to believe that changing their account and device settings would allow customers to protect their privacy and control what personal data the company could access," said Karl Racine, the D.C. attorney general, in a statement. "The truth is that contrary to Google's representations it continues to systematically surveil customers and profit from customer data."

Racine, who led the complaints, said investigators concluded Google has been making "misleading and conflicting claims" regarding its offered privacy protections since at least 2014, the Times writes.

Google maintains all allegations by the attorneys general are false, and that the company has taken steps to protect customers' location data.