The Internet search giant has consented to pay $85 million to settle a data privacy lawsuit in Arizona. The lawsuit was filed over Android’s location tracking in 2020.
Suits against Google aren’t a new phenomenon. They recently paid $100 million to Illinois residents over violating their privacy in the Google Photos app.
According to a Bloomberg report, this is one of the enormous settlements ever paid by Google per capita in a consumer fraud lawsuit.
In 2018, CNET reported that Google tracks users through services like Google maps, weather updates, and browser searches, even with Location History switched off.
According to the complaint, “The tactics Google deploys to surveil its users’ locations – including users in Arizona – include willfully deceptive and unfair acts and practices within the meaning of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act.”
Phoenix-based law firm Gallagher & Kennedy represented Arizona.
“When I was elected attorney general, I promised Arizonans I would fight for them and hold everyone, including corporations like Google, accountable. I am proud of this historic settlement that proves no entity, not even big tech companies, is above the law,” Brnovich said in a statement.
The majority of money from the settlement will be mandated to the general fund, which can then be used after legislative appropriation. The release declares that $5 million will be directed toward attorney general education programs.
Google spokesperson José Castañeda claimed, “We provide straightforward controls and auto delete options for location data and are always working to minimize the data we collect. We are pleased to have this matter resolved and will continue to focus our attention on providing useful products for our users.”
The District of Columbia and three states are also suing Google. They allege that the firm misleads consumers and invades their privacy by making it nearly impossible for them to stop their location from being tracked.