The Chicago Journal

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.

The announcement

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.

Read also: Report: Texas to sue Google for violating user privacy with technology


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“Consistent with improvements we’ve made in recent years, we have settled this investigation which was based on outdated product policies that we changed years ago.”

Read also: Android 13 launches for Google Pixel devices, what it has to offer


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

Women’s Rights Gets Boost as President Joe Biden Signs Order for Abortion Services

US President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday to help women cross state lines for abortion services.

The executive order is the second after the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to trial.

The order

Biden’s order orders the Federal Department of Health and Human Services to consider Medicaid funding for overseas travel for abortions.

Last month, the president signed the first executive order to respond to the Supreme Court’s decision.

The order also instructs the HHS to ensure that health care workers comply with federal anti-discrimination laws so that women can receive necessary medical care as quickly as possible.

Biden’s order is expected to have limited impact as Republicans lead a wave of national legislation that restricts abortion, access to drugs, and financing of similar services.

What led to the order?

On Tuesday, Kansas voters vehemently opposed an election measure that would have removed language protecting abortion rights from the state constitution.

The vote was a landslide victory for the abortion rights movement in the first national electoral test since the Supreme Court ruling.

Kansas is surrounded by states following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, including Oklahoma and Missouri.

As a result, Kansas has become a destination for out-of-state women seeking access to abortion treatment.

Biden’s sentiments

President Joe Biden continued his COVID isolation while talking virtually with his new task force on access to reproductive health care.

During the phone call, Biden called access to state abortion a “health crisis” and warned that Republicans want to ban the procedure nationwide.

“I don’t think the court has any notion for that matter or the Republican party for that matter… how women are going to respond,” said Biden on Wednesday.

“They don’t have a clue about the power of American women. Last night in Kansas, they found out.”

Biden also called the Kansas result a “decisive victory” and said voters sent a “strong signal” that politicians did not have the right to interfere with women’s human rights.

“This fight is not over, and we saw that last night in Kansas,” said Biden.

“The court practically dared women in this country to go to the ballot box and restore the right to choose.”

Based on the measurements

In early July, Biden issued his first executive order, instructing the federal government’s Department of Health and Human Services to expand access to medical abortion to protect women who travel to abort.

The president’s latest order is based on measurements. But as with the first order, it is unclear how it can be achieved.

According to a senior administration official, the second order prompts the Department of Health and Human Services to consider using funds like Medicaid to support low-income women traveling abroad for abortion services.

It also calls on Xavier Becerra of Health and Human Services to urge states to seek Medicaid exemption when treating patients traveling for reproductive health services.

The Hyde Amendment

The Hyde Amendment’s congressional measure stipulates that Medicaid will not pay for abortion.

The only exception is when the woman’s life is in danger, or the pregnancy is due to rape or incest.

It also directs the department to ensure that healthcare professionals comply with federal non-discrimination laws when providing such services.

The provision also provides for data collection to measure the sentence’s impact on maternal health.

Biden and Kamala Harris

President Joe Biden signed the executive order at the first meeting of the Interagency Task Force on Access to Reproductive Health Care.

Vice President Kamala Harris joined him in the meeting, calling the abortion issue “America’s public health crisis.”

Senate Democrats have rejected Biden’s request to repeal the House’s “filibuster” rule, which requires 60 out of 100 senators to agree on most laws so that anyone can pass a law that officially points out that abortion is a national right.

Kamala Harris can cast a casting vote in an equally divided Senate.


Biden signs executive order aimed at helping women travel for abortion

Biden signs abortion order, says Republicans clueless about women’s power