- by theguardian
- 29 Mar 2023
The attorneys general called the settlement a historic win for consumers, and the largest multi-state settlement in US history dealing with privacy.
Google, based in Mountain View, California, said it fixed the problems several years ago.
Location tracking can help tech companies sell digital ads to marketers looking to connect with consumers within their vicinity. It is another tool in a data-gathering toolkit that generates more than $200bn in annual ad revenue for Google, accounting for most of the profits pouring into the coffers of its corporate parent, Alphabet, which has a market value of $1.2tn.
Storing such data carries privacy risks and has been used by police to determine the location of suspects.
Google uses the location information to target consumers with ads by its customers, the state officials said.
The attorneys general said Google misled users about its location tracking practices since at least 2014, violating state consumer protection laws.
As part of the settlement, Google also agreed to make those practices more transparent to users. That includes showing them more information when they turn location account settings on and off and keeping a webpage that gives users information about the data Google collects.
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