Hey Google, why do you owe so much?
As part of a privacy settlement made with 40 states on Monday, Google agreed to pay nearly $392 million to resolve claims that the online search engine misled users into thinking that location tracking was off in their account settings while it continued to collect information. Google then allegedly sold that information to marketers and digital advertisers.
The agreement, coming after an investigation covering Google’s practices from 2014-2020, is the largest multi-state consumer privacy settlement in US history.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said in a statement, “When consumers make the decision to not share location data on their devices, they should be able to trust that a company will no longer track their every move,” adding, “This settlement makes it clear that companies must be transparent in how they track customers and abide by state and federal privacy laws.”
Google says that it’s committed to making its location tracking disclosures clearer to users starting in 2023 and now lets users use maps in ‘Incognito Mode.’