Pending lawsuits against Google LLC illustrate how regulators and plaintiffs lawyers are increasingly wielding a dark patterns theory in challenging companies' practices involving consumers.
The attorneys general of Washington, D.C., Washington state, Texas, and Indiana all filed complaints against Google, alleging that the company tricks consumers into providing their location data, on Jan. 24.
The cases are State of Texas v. Google LLC, in Victoria County District Court; State of Washington v. Google LLC, in King County Superior Court; State of Indiana v. Google LLC, in Marion County Superior Court; and District of Columbia v. Google LLC, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
These recent lawsuits are another example of the trend of multistate attorney general and Federal Trade Commission investigations shaping privacy law and public policy in the absence of comprehensive federal legislation. Not only do these lawsuits highlight how state attorneys general are taking a more active role in challenging tech giants, but they also shed light on the types of lawsuits that consumer-facing companies of all sizes can expect in the future.