1. Google settled a lawsuit in California court that accused the company of using deceptive location data practices without user consent.
2. The lawsuit alleged that Google tricked users into consenting to constant tracking of their location data outside of the Google Maps app.
3. Google agreed to pay $93 million to settle the complaint, but did not admit any wrongdoing.
4. As part of the settlement, Google agreed to provide more transparency to users about location data tracking and disclose that it may be used for targeted advertising.
5. Google will continue to track the data of Californians and use it for advertising, but now users will be informed about it.
Google settles lawsuit over deceptive location data practices
Google has reached a settlement in a lawsuit filed in California that accused the company of using deceptive practices with users’ location data. The complaint, filed by California’s Attorney General on September 14, 2023, alleges that Google tracked, stored, and used consumers’ location data without their consent for targeted advertising.
The complaint states that Google tricked users into consenting to constant location tracking from 2014 to 2018. The company would show users a deceptive prompt within the Google Maps app, claiming it would enhance the Google Maps experience by storing location data for search suggestions and recommended routes.
During this time, users would encounter a prompt upon launching the Maps app, with a big blue button that said “yes I’m in.” Tapping this button unknowingly gave consent to Google for the continuous use of their location data.
Google agrees to $93 million settlement but does not admit fault
In order to settle the complaint, Google has agreed to pay $93 million to the state of California. This settlement comes after the company settled with 40 other states for around $391 million in November 2022. However, it should be noted that Google does not admit any wrongdoing as part of these settlements.
While the settlement allows Google to maintain its integrity, it also requires the company to provide more transparency to users regarding location data tracking. This includes disclosing that location data may be used for targeted ads. Therefore, Google will continue to track and use Californians’ data for advertising purposes, but it is now obligated to inform them about it.