Google has reached a settlement agreement with the state of California  , agreeing to pay $93 million to resolve a lawsuit that accused the company of collecting consumers’ data without their consent. This settlement follows a previous agreement with 40 states, in which Google paid $391.5 million. The lawsuit was prompted by an Associated Press story in 2018, which raised concerns about Google’s tracking of users’ locations.
The California Department of Justice conducted a thorough investigation into Google’s practices and found that the company had been collecting, storing , and utilizing users’ location data for consumer profiling and advertising purposes without obtaining informed consent . Despite Google’s claims to the contrary, it was discovered that the company continued to track users’ locations. The lawsuit alleged that Google obtained location data through other means and misled users about their ability to opt out of personalized advertisements based on their location .
As part of the settlement  , Google has agreed to implement strict measures to prevent future misconduct. While the company has not admitted any wrongdoing, it has committed to providing users with greater control and transparency over their location data. The proposed settlement is currently awaiting court approval.
In recent years , Google has made efforts to enhance user privacy and consent regarding location data. This includes the introduction of tools such as auto-delete controls and incognito mode on Google Maps . The settlement also includes additional protections for consumers, such as providing more information to users when enabling location-related account settings , increasing transparency about location tracking practices    , disclosing how location data is collected and used , informing users about the potential use of their location information for personalized ads, and requiring internal review and approval for any significant changes to location settings and ads personalization disclosures . The specific details of these requirements can be found in the proposed settlement order.
This settlement not only addresses the concerns raised by the state of California but also ensures that users in other states are protected. The agreement highlights the importance of location-based advertising for Google’s revenue. Moving forward, it is crucial for Google to continue implementing measures to prevent the collection and use of location data without informed consent. By doing so, the company can maintain user trust and comply with regulations regarding data privacy and consumer protection.