Google Agrees to Pay Over Lawsuit for Misleading Location Tracking Practices
Google has agreed to pay $39.9 million in a lawsuit for misleading its users about its location tracking practices. The lawsuit was filed by the district attorneys of San Francisco and Los Angeles over Google’s use of “deceptive” methods to gather user location data.
Google’s location tracking practices came under scrutiny in 2018 when an investigation by the Associated Press found that Google continued to track users’ location even after they turned off the “location history” feature. Instead, Google tracked users through other apps and services, such as Google Maps and weather updates.
The lawsuit alleged that Google used “false and misleading statements” to persuade users to turn on their location settings and collected data without their consent. Google did not admit any wrongdoing but agreed to settle the lawsuit to “resolve the matter.”
As part of the settlement, Google must “modify its disclosures” so that users can better understand and control its location tracking practices. Google will also have to obtain “affirmative consent” from users before collecting their location data.
The settlement marks a significant victory for privacy advocates who have long criticized Google and other tech companies for collecting user data without their consent. It also highlights the need for greater transparency and regulation of the tech industry’s data practices.
Google has faced similar lawsuits in the past, including a $17 million settlement in 2020 for tracking users of Apple’s Safari browser without their consent. These lawsuits underscore the growing public concern over tech companies’ data collection practices and the need for stricter regulation to protect users’ privacy.
In conclusion, the $39.9 million lawsuit settlement against Google for misleading location tracking practices shows the importance of transparency and regulation in the tech industry. It also highlights the need for tech companies to obtain users’ affirmative consent before collecting their data. Privacy advocates hope that this settlement will send a message to other tech companies to be more transparent and respectful of users’ privacy.