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Google pays “historic” privacy settlement

by on15 November 2022

Misled its users saying they have turned location tracking off

Google has agreed to pay $391.5 million settlement to 40 US states over a location tracking dispute.

The case was based around Google tricking its users into believing that they have turned location tracking off. However, Google continued to collect the users' location information and make vast amounts of cash.

Google has also agreed to improve its location tracking disclosures and user controls significantly starting 2023.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said in a statement:“For years Google has prioritised profit over their users’ privacy. They have been crafty and deceptive. Consumers thought they had turned off their location tracking features on Google, but the company continued secretly recording their movements and using that information for advertisers.

Until we have comprehensive privacy laws, companies will continue to compile large amounts of our data for marketing purposes with few controls.”

The settlement was led by Oregon AG Rosenblum and Nebraska AG Doug Peterson, and is the largest consumer privacy settlement in US history. Of course, it assumes that $391.5 million is a problematic bill for Google and that all that data it nicked during that period was worth much less.

The DoJ investigation was prompted by a 2018 Associated Press (AP) article that revealed how Google "tracks your movements". At that time, the AP said that this issue impacted more than 2 billion devices running on Google's Android OS and hundreds of millions of iPhones using Google Maps or Google Search.

Google did not admit to violating any laws, so we guess it just gave the money over as a donation to the policemen’s charity.

A Google spokesperson said the investigation was based on "outdated product policies that we changed years ago."


Last modified on 15 November 2022
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