Google buys itself out of privacy investigation with $392 million
San Francisco, Nov. 16, 2022
Google will pay $392 million to 40 states to settle a privacy investigation related to its location tracking. The states’ attorneys general had argued that Google continues to collect data on its users’ movements even when they have disabled location tracking in their account settings.
The settlement is the largest internet privacy settlement ever negotiated by U.S. states.
Under the agreement, Google has agreed to make its location tracking disclosures more transparent.
The company must provide more information to users when a location-based setting is turned on or off. It has also agreed to provide more information about the location data it collects and how it is used on a dedicated website.
The Associated Press first reported the location-tracking problems in 2018, prompting prosecutors to open the investigation that year.
A Google spokesperson said the investigation was based on “outdated product policies that we changed years ago.”