- Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum today announced a landmark $391.5 million settlement with 39 other state attorneys general Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGLE Google over location tracking methods.
- Google misled its users into thinking they had turned off location tracking in their account settings, when in fact Google continued to collect information about their location.
- Starting in 2023, Google has agreed to make significant improvements to its location tracking and user controls.
- And 2018 is the year Associated Press an article that found Google “records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to” prompted an investigation.
- The article focused on two Google Account settings: location history and web and app activity. Location history is “disabled” unless the user turns this setting on.
- However, web and app activity, a separate account setting, is automatically “turned on” when users set up a Google Account, including all Android users.
- Attorneys general have found that Google violated state consumer protection laws by misleading consumers about its location-tracking practices since at least 2014.
- In particular, by changing account and device settings, Google confused its users about how much they could limit Google’s location tracking.
- Google aims to “offer a new control that lets users easily turn off location history and web and app activity settings, and delete their past data with one simple flow.”
- Google also plans to add more information to its “Activity Control” and “Data & Privacy” pages.
- The Federal Trade Commission has weighed a rule that would expand online privacy protections by targeting online surveillance and lax data security practices by tech companies, the Wall Street Journal reports.
- Congress also considered bipartisan legislation to give Americans more control over their data.
- As of September 30, Google had $116.3 billion in cash and cash equivalents.
- Image by Deepanker Verma from Pixabay
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