Google Settlement of $391.5M Over Unlawful Location Tracking

Google will pay a settlement of $391.5 million over allegations about how they collected users’ location data. 40 US states accused the technology giant of tracking users’ locations after they had opted out of location services. This is the largest privacy-related multi-state settlement in US history. 

The investigation was being led by Oregon and Nebraska with 40 states being a part of the case in total. A report found that location tracking still took place even after users instructed it not to. These practices were found to go back to at least 2014 and violate state consumer protection laws. 

In addition to the settlement Google have been instructed they must be more transparent about location tracking in the future. In a blog post addressing location data Google said they will be making updates “to provide even greater controls and transparency over location data.”

When consumers make the decision to not share location data on their devices, they should be able to trust that a company will no longer track their every move. This settlement makes it clear that companies must be transparent in how they track customers and abide by state and federal privacy laws.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller,
Additional Cases

Arizona filed a similar case which was settled for $85 million in October. There also remains one open case from January when Texas, Indiana, Washington State, and the District of Columbia sued Google for deceptive location tracking practices. 

For years Google has prioritised profit over its users’ privacy. It has been crafty and deceptive. Consumers thought they had turned off their location-tracking features on Google – but the company continued to secretly record their movements and use that for information for advertisers.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum,

This is another case that Google have had to address regarding privacy and data concerns. There are currently concerns over the use of Google Analytics in Europe as well. You can keep up to date with this news here.

Is your company transparent about how they use consumers’ data? Let Value Privacy undertake a privacy health check for your business to make sure you’re protected against issues like this.

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