Report Wire - 40 states settle Google location-tracking fees for $392M

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40 states settle Google location-tracking fees for $392M

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Google has agreed to a $391.5 million settlement with 40 states in reference to an investigation into how the corporate tracked customers’ areas, state attorneys basic introduced Monday, calling it the biggest multistate privateness settlement in U.S historical past.

The investigation by the states, which officers stated was spurred by a 2018 Associated Press story, discovered that Google continued to trace folks’s location knowledge even after they opted out of such monitoring.

“This $391.5 million settlement is a historic win for consumers in an era of increasing reliance on technology. Location data is among the most sensitive and valuable personal information Google collects, and there are so many reasons why a consumer may opt-out of tracking,” Connecticut Attorney General William Tong stated in a press release.

The AP reported that many Google providers on Android gadgets and iPhones retailer your location knowledge even when you’ve used a privateness setting that claims it would forestall Google from doing so. Computer-science researchers at Princeton confirmed these findings on the AP’s request.

Storing such knowledge carries privateness dangers and has been utilized by police to find out the placement of suspects.

The AP reported in 2018 that the privateness situation with location monitoring affected some two billion customers of gadgets that run Google’s Android working software program and tons of of hundreds of thousands of worldwide iPhone customers who depend on Google for maps or search.

The attorneys basic who investigated Google stated a key a part of the corporate’s digital promoting enterprise is location knowledge, which they referred to as probably the most delicate and helpful private knowledge the corporate collects. Even a small quantity of location knowledge can reveal an individual’s identification and routines, they stated.

Google makes use of the placement data to focus on shoppers with advertisements by its prospects, the state officers stated.

The attorneys basic stated Google misled customers about its location monitoring practices since a minimum of 2014, violating state client safety legal guidelines.

As a part of the settlement, Google additionally agreed to make these practices extra clear to customers, together with exhibiting them extra data once they flip location account settings on and off and maintaining a webpage that provides customers details about the info Google collects.