Google will pay $392 million to 40 states in largest-ever US consumer privacy settlement

has agreed to pay $391.5 million to settle expenses introduced forth by 40 attorneys normal. They accused the corporate of deceptive customers into believing they’d turned off of their settings, however Google continued to gather details about their actions. As a part of the settlement, Google has agreed to “considerably enhance” its location monitoring disclosures and person controls beginning subsequent 12 months.

“For years Google has prioritized revenue over their customers’ privateness,” Oregon lawyer normal Ellen Rosenblum, who led the case together with Nebraska AG Doug Peterson, . “They’ve been artful and misleading. Customers thought they’d turned off their location monitoring options on Google, however the firm continued to secretly document their actions and use that data for advertisers.”

The AGs opened the investigation in 2018 following an Related Press report suggesting that . The indicated that turning off the Location Historical past setting did not cease Google from understanding the place a person was. Some apps, akin to Maps and Search, nonetheless created a snapshot of their location on their Google account. Though it was potential to take away this information from one’s Google account, doing so was “laborious,” the AP famous.

The AGs decided that Google violated state shopper safety legal guidelines since at the very least 2014 by deceptive shoppers about its location monitoring practices. They claimed that the corporate “confused its customers in regards to the extent to which they might restrict Google’s location monitoring by adjusting their account and machine settings.” They famous that that is the largest-ever shopper privateness settlement by US states (Meta, then often called Fb, agreed to pay $5 billion to settle FTC expenses over the Cambridge Analytica scandal). 

In response to a press launch from the Oregon AG’s workplace, Google has agreed to:

  • Present extra data to customers each time they flip a location-related account setting “on” or “off”;

  • Make key details about location monitoring unavoidable for customers (i.e., not hidden); and

  • Give customers detailed details about the sorts of location information Google collects and the way it’s used at an enhanced “Location Applied sciences” webpage.

Final month, Google to accusing it of monitoring customers for focused advertisements even after they switched off location information settings. The corporate is going through different location monitoring fits filed by AGs in Washington DC, Texas, Washington and Indiana.

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