Google has agreed to pay $391.5 million to settle a privacy lawsuit filed by a coalition of attorneys general from 40 U.S. states.
The settlement shows that the U.S. attorneys general discovered while investigating a 2018 Associated Press article that the search giant misled Android users and tracked their locations since at least 2014 even when they thought location tracking was disabled
While Android users were misled into thinking disabling the “Location History” in the device’s settings would disable location tracking, another account setting—turned on by default and named “Web & App Activity”—enabled the company to collect, store and use the customers’ personally identifiable location data.
Today’s settlement also requires Google to introduce more user-friendly account controls and limits the company’s use and storage of some types of location data.
Google will also have to be transparent with its users regarding its location data tracking and collection practices, having to show additional information when location-related account settings are toggled and display detailed info about what data it harvests and how it’s used.”The company’s online reach enables it to target consumers without the consumer’s knowledge or permission,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said on Monday.
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