The search giant has reached a settlement with prosecutors in 40 states investigating cases in which the company collected information about information from its users who intentionally asked it not to. Investigations against the company began in 2018.
The deal will allow Alphabet’s Google to resolve accusations that it has illegally tracked its users’ locations and urges the company to rethink its location policies at a time when privacy and advertising are increasingly under fire from Internet users.
“It is no exaggeration to say that we live in a surveillance economy. Please understand that you are being tracked every minute of every day wherever you are,” Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said in a statement.
An agreement was enshrined on Monday, November 14, between the litigants and Google in the name of The largest payment by a private entity in a lawsuit brought by several states in US history.
Oregon and Nebraska were responsible for the judicial process. Texas, Indiana, the state of Washington and the District of Columbia sued Google in January over what they described as deceptive website tracking practices that violate users’ privacy.
Arizona filed a similar case, which the company settled for $85 million in October of this year.
The attorney general who conducted the investigations explained that location data is an important part of the company’s digital advertising; Data categorized as “sensitive,” which provides details of behavior, likes, dislikes, and lifestyles, allowing companies to be more accurate with ads that reach each user in a personalized way.
“When consumers make the decision not to share location data on their devices, they should be able to trust that the company will no longer track their every move,” Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said in a statement. “This agreement makes clear that companies must be transparent in how they track customers and comply with federal and state privacy laws.”
In the first six months of this year, Google generated $111 billion in ad revenue, more than any other online advertising vendor.
With the Associated Press and Reuters.