Google agrees to pay $392 million to 40 states
Google is in trouble for violating privacy and location tracking practices.
However, reports say the company agreed to a record $391.5 million settlement with 40 states.
The deal comes after users complained about the company’s location-tracking practices with its devices and services.
A group of lawyers announced the settlement on Monday.
Attorneys General have called it the largest multi-state privacy settlement in the history of the United States.
The coalition includes a list of attorneys general from New York, Kentucky and Oregon.
Furthermore, they said that as early as 2015, Google lied to users about location tracking in different ways.
Lawyers said users were confused over the scope of setting location history and the extent to which users who rely on Google products and services can limit location tracking by changing their account and device settings.
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Google must now show transparency with the settlement and meet these requests:
- Show additional information for location-related settings
- Make key location tracking policies more visible
- Give users details
However, the company faces restrictions on location usage and storage information.
Google spokesperson José Castañeda said:
“Consistent with improvements we’ve made in recent years, we have settled this investigation which was based on outdated product policies that we changed years ago.”
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Attorneys general were investigating Google after a 2018 Associated Press report said that the company records user movements even when not turned on.
At the time, the company released a statement saying:
- A clear description of the tools
- Robust controls so users can turn them on and off
- The ability to delete their histories at any time
A similar lawsuit hit Google in January.
Four attorneys general from Columbia, Texas, Indiana and Washington’s counties claim the company was using shady schemes.
They also said the company is using deceptive practices to track users’ physical locations, even when they try to block Google.
Additionally, location data can target ads and create Internet user profiles.
Google is a major tech company under scrutiny for how it handles location data following the destruction of Roe v. Wade.
Finally, lawmakers highlight how the company on how the data can be used to track abortion seekers.
As a result, the company will remove users’ location history for visits to abortion clinics, fertility clinics, and other destinations.
Google agrees to $392 million settlement with 40 states over location tracking practices