Google has reached a settlement agreement with the state of California in which it has agreed to pay a sum of $93 million. This resolution stems from a lawsuit filed by California, which accused Google of engaging in deceptive location-privacy practices that mislead consumers and contravened laws designed to safeguard consumer rights.
According to California Attorney General Rob Bonta, our investigation has uncovered that Google was providing users with misleading information. Despite claiming that it would cease tracking their location upon opting out, Google continued to monitor users’ activities for its own financial benefit.
The initiation of the legal action is a direct result of the revelations that the corporation persisted in monitoring the geographical positions of its customers while explicitly asserting that such data would not be retained in instances where the “Location History” feature was off.
The case lodged by the state of California contended that Google acquired location data from alternative sources and engaged in deceptive practices by misinforming consumers about their capacity to opt out of location-based tailored adverts.
Google’s revenue in 2022 primarily stems from advertising, amounting to about $220 billion. This recent development represents the company’s ongoing efforts to address various legal disputes initiated by many states inside the United States.
In November of the previous year, the company reached an agreement to make a payment of $391.5 million in order to resolve comparable grievances filed by 40 states inside the United States. In January 2023, the organization reached a settlement wherein it consented to remit a combined sum of $29.5 million to resolve two distinct legal actions initiated by the states of Indiana and Washington, D.C.
Following that, in May 2023, the corporation reached a settlement agreement with the state of Washington for a sum of $39.9 million based on the same grounds. The company is currently involved in a legal dispute around location monitoring in the state of Texas.
The technology corporation, which has not acknowledged any culpability, has consistently asserted that its actions are predicated on “obsolete product policies that were modified in previous years.” Furthermore, it has also consented to offer enhanced measures and increased visibility to users regarding the management of location data.
The occurrence transpired a fortnight subsequent to the submission of three complaints by NOYB, an Austrian privacy non-profit organization, against Fitbit, a company owned by Google. The complaints were lodged due to Fitbit’s practice of compelling new users of its application to provide consent for the transfer of sensitive data to locations outside the European Union. These locations may not offer an equivalent level of data protection as that provided within the bloc.
According to the statement, users are not given the opportunity to withdraw their consent, which is in violation of legal obligations. In contrast, individuals are required to permanently terminate their accounts in order to cease any illicit processing activities.
About The Author:
Yogesh Naager is a content marketer who specializes in the cybersecurity and B2B space. Besides writing for the News4Hackers blog, he’s also written for brands including CollegeDunia, Utsav Fashion, and NASSCOM. Naager entered the field of content in an unusual way. He began his career as an insurance sales executive, where he developed an interest in simplifying difficult concepts. He also combines this interest with a love of narrative, which makes him a good writer in the cybersecurity field. In the bottom line, he frequently writes for Craw Security.
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