States win settlement from Google over misleading geographic tracking

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WDEF) – Tennessee and Georgia are on the winning side of a legal tussle with Google.

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti announced an almost $400 million dollar multistate settlement with the company on Monday.

It involves location tracking by Goggle online.

This is the third highest privacy settlement in U.S. history.

Google uses location data on you for their ad business so they can target ads to you online.

This case started after an Associated Press article in 2018 reported that Google “records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to.”

Your Location History setting was set at “off.”  But the Web & App Activity setting defaulted to “on” during setup (which most people didn’t even know existed).

“Companies should not collect one bit of data from consumers unless they provide complete transparency about what data is collected and how it will be used,” said Skrmetti.

The attorneys general found that Google violated consumer protection laws by misleading consumers at least as far back as 2014.

The settlement requires Google to be more transparent with consumers about its practices. Google must:

·         Show additional information to users whenever they turn a location-related account setting “on” or “off”;

·         Make key information about location tracking unavoidable for users (i.e., not hidden); and

·         Give users detailed information about the types of location data Google collects and how it’s used at an enhanced “Location Technologies” webpage.

The settlement also limits Google’s use and storage of certain types of location information and requires Google account controls to be more user-friendly.

Categories: Regional News, Technology