Google Agrees to Pay $39.9 Million Settlement in Lawsuit Over Deceptive Location Tracking Practices.
Google has reached a settlement with Washington state, agreeing to pay $39.9 million (approximately Rs. 330 crore) to resolve a lawsuit that accused the Alphabet unit of misleading consumers regarding its location tracking practices. State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced the settlement on Thursday.
The lawsuit alleged that Google had deceived individuals into thinking they had control over the collection and use of their personal data by the search and advertising company. However, in reality, Google was able to gather and profit from the data even when consumers disabled tracking technology on their smartphones and computers, thus invading their privacy.
To address these concerns, a consent decree was filed on Wednesday in King County Superior Court. As part of the agreement, Google is required to enhance transparency regarding its tracking practices and create a comprehensive “Location Technologies” webpage that provides detailed information about them.
Ferguson stated in a declaration that “Today’s resolution holds one of the most powerful corporations accountable for its unethical and unlawful tactics.”
Google, headquartered in Mountain View, California, asserted its innocence while agreeing to the settlement.
In November, Google consented to pay $391.5 million (approximately Rs. 3,240 crore) to settle similar allegations made by 40 US states.
Certain states, including Washington, opted to individually sue Google regarding its tracking practices. In one of those cases, Arizona reached an $85 million (around Rs. 703 crore) settlement with Google in October of last year.
In response to the Washington settlement, Google referred to its previous statement on the multi-state agreement, in which it stated that it had addressed concerns raised by regulators, including “outdated product policies that we changed years ago.”