Google to Pay Over $155 Million to Settle Claims For Tracking Location Data – Google agreed to pay $155 million to settle allegations brought by California and private litigants that the search engine business misled users about how it tracks their location and utilized their data without their permission.
Both agreements resolve charges that Alphabet’s company misled users into believing they had control over how Google acquired and exploited their personal information.
The corporation was accused of being able to “profile” people and target them with advertising even if they turned off their “Location History” setting, as well as misleading customers about their capacity to reject unwanted adverts.
“Google was telling its users one thing–that it would no longer track their location once they opted out–but doing the opposite and continuing to track its users’ movements for its own commercial gain,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement. “That’s unacceptable.”
The California settlement compels Google to pay $93 million and provide more information about how it tracks people’s whereabouts and utilizes data collected.
After subtracting legal fees, money from Google’s $62 million settlement with private litigants will go to court-approved nonprofit entities that monitor internet privacy challenges.
According to the plaintiffs’ lawyers, this is logical because it would be “impossible” to distribute money among the approximately 247.7 million US adults who own mobile devices.
According to some critics, this sort of settlement, known as “cy pres,” provides little benefit to class members.
Google denied liability, and both settlements must be approved by the court.
Google agreed to pay $391.5 million in November to settle identical charges brought by 40 US states.
The Mountain View, California-based corporation has also negotiated settlements with Arizona and Washington totaling $124.9 million.
On Friday, a Google spokeswoman referred to a blog post describing the multistate settlement, saying it was connected to “outdated product policies that we changed years ago.”
Private plaintiffs’ attorneys did not immediately reply to calls for comment.
In the first half of 2023, Google generated $110.9 billion in advertising revenue, accounting for 81% of its overall revenue of $137.7 billion.