Google has agreed to a $391.5 million settlement with 40 state attorneys basic over its location monitoring practices. The settlement outlines that Google misled its customers into pondering that they had turned off location monitoring whilst the corporate continued to gather their location info. The investigation, which marks the biggest lawyer general-led client privateness settlement ever, was co-led by Oregon and Washington.
“For years Google has prioritized revenue over their customers’ privateness,” mentioned Oregon Legal professional Basic Ellen Rosenblum in a news release. “They’ve been artful and misleading. Customers thought that they had turned off their location monitoring options on Google, however the firm continued to secretly document their actions and use that info for advertisers.”
Google mentioned in a press release that it has already addressed and corrected among the location monitoring practices detailed within the settlement.
“In step with enhancements we’ve made lately, we now have settled this investigation which was primarily based on outdated product insurance policies that we modified years in the past,” a spokesperson for Google instructed TechCrunch in an electronic mail.
As a part of the settlement, Google has agreed to enhance its location monitoring disclosures and person controls beginning subsequent yr. The settlement requires Google to point out further info to customers every time they flip a location-related account setting on or off. Key details about location monitoring should additionally not be hidden going ahead.
In a blog post, Google outlined it’ll “present a brand new management that enables customers to simply flip off their Location Historical past and Net & App Exercise settings and delete their previous information in a single easy circulate.” The corporate additionally plans so as to add further disclosures to its Activity controls and Data & Privacy pages.
Alongside these modifications, Google goes to create a complete info hub that highlights key location settings. As well as, Google plans to provide customers who’re organising new accounts a extra detailed rationalization of what Net & App Exercise is and what info it consists of. The corporate mentioned it’ll proceed deleting location historical past information for customers who haven’t lately contributed new location historical past information to their account.
“Till we now have complete privateness legal guidelines, corporations will proceed to compile massive quantities of our private information for advertising functions with few controls,” Rosenblum mentioned within the information launch.
The attorneys basic opened the Google investigation after a 2018 Associated Press report discovered that the corporate recorded customers’ actions even once they explicitly instructed it to not. The investigation discovered that Google violated state client safety legal guidelines by deceptive shoppers about its location monitoring practices since a minimum of 2014.
Final month, Google agreed to pay the state of Arizona $85 million to settle a separate lawsuit that alleged the search large deceived customers by accumulating location information with out their consent. Google can be at the moment facing a lawsuit from Washington, DC, Texas, Washington state and Indiana. The lawsuit alleges that Google deceived customers by accumulating their location information even once they believed that sort of monitoring was disabled.