Internet giant Google has agreed to pay a record $391.5 million to settle with 40 U.S. states for misleading users about its collection of personal location data.
“Google tricked users into thinking they had turned off location tracking in their account settings, when in reality, Google continued to collect users’ location information,” said Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. says Said Monday.
“For years, Google put profit above user privacy. They were cunning and deceptive,” said Rosenblum.
The impetus for the investigation was 2018 report The Associated Press revealed that Google continued to track a user’s location on Android and iOS even when the user turned off “location history” in their account settings.
Rosenblum said that the location data collected by Google, combined with other personal and behavioral information collected by Google, embody detailed user profiles for the purpose of targeting advertising, and even limited It adds that even a small amount of location data could reveal an individual’s “identity and daily life.” It can be used to infer personal information.
As part of the Privacy Settlement, Google will display additional information to users when enabling or disabling location-related settings, will not hide important information about location tracking, and will provide details about the types of location data collected. must be provided.
Google, at Related announcement,Company’s Auto-delete option Additionally, settings such as Google Maps incognito mode and transparency tools allow users to access “primary location settings directly from the core product.” It also characterized the study as being based on an “outdated product policy.”
The search giant further said it would roll out more corrective changes in the coming months, including a streamlined account setup process that provides detailed user instructions. Web & App Activity Provides easy settings to remove location data.
It also outlines enabling people to have a “single, comprehensive information hub that highlights key location preferences so that people can make informed choices about their data.”
The development comes three months after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). fined Google paid A$60 million for “misleading consumer statements about the collection and use of personal location information on Android phones from January 2017 to December 2018.”
The company last month agreed To settle another lawsuit alleging the search giant illegally tracked users by recording location data without their consent, by paying the US state of Arizona $85 million. Google faces similar location-tracking lawsuits. washington dc, Indiana, texasWhen Washington.
For the third quarter ending September 30, 2022, Google report Total revenue is $69.09 billion and net income is $13.9 billion. Overall revenue from advertising over the three months he made $54.48 billion.
“Until comprehensive privacy legislation is enacted, companies will continue to collect vast amounts of personal data for marketing purposes with little control,” Rosenblum noted.