A $391.5 million settlement reached by Google has been praised as “a historic success for consumers in an era of growing dependence on technology.”
A Massive Data Breach
The study looked at claims that Google kept track of the locations of some users even after they turned off monitoring.
The Associated Press published a story in 2018 that first brought up allegations of the privacy breach.
The claims were eventually expanded by Princeton computer scientists to include hundreds of millions of iPhone users as well as over two billion Android users who use Google.
Google received criticism for disrespecting and jeopardizing the privacy of those users because, according to a study, location data might expose a person’s routines or identity.
It’s claimed that Google made a lot of money off the collecting of such private information.
More location data, in the opinion of state officials, enables the technology giant to target consumers with more precise marketing.
According to financial documents, advertising accounted for $257 billion (£215 billion) of the company’s annual revenue.
The attorneys general charged Google with lying about how it records users’ locations since 2014 despite the charges only coming to light in 2018.
Following the internet company’s last-month $80 million (£67 billion) settlement with Arizona, numerous states, including Texas and Washington, accused Google of breaking their consumer protection laws and filed lawsuits against it.
Along with promising to be more open with its users when it comes to collecting location data and making it easier for users to opt in or out, Google also agreed to a $391.5 million (£330 million) settlement pay-out with 40 US states.
William Tong, the Connecticut attorney general, issued a statement in response to the agreement.
It says: “In an era of growing dependence on technology, this $391.5 million settlement is a historic victory for consumers.
“There are many reasons why a consumer may choose to opt-out of tracking,” says Google, “and location data is among the most sensitive and valuable personal information Google collects.”
According to Jose Castaneda, a Google spokesperson, “We have settled this investigation, which was based on out-of-date product policies that we changed years ago,” in line with the advancements we’ve made recently.