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Google settles “Location History” lawsuit with 40 states, will pay $392 million

Google settles “Location History” lawsuit with 40 states, will pay $392 million

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Google has settled a privacy lawsuit with a coalition of 40 state attorneys general today. Google agreed to pay $391.5 million for misleading Location History settings the company was running from 2014-2020.

Google’s Location History settings have gotten it in trouble with several regulatory bodies. The action began after a 2018 Associated Press article pointed out that the “Location History” check box didn’t control all Google location history across your entire account and that many location tracking features lived under a second check box called “Web & App Activity.” Consumers might turn off the “Location History” check box thinking it stopped all Google location tracking, but it was actually only for a single Google Maps feature. Google lost a case in Australia over this setting in 2021 and recently settled a separate lawsuit with Arizona for $85 million. A few other states still have pending lawsuits.

Google redesigned its privacy settings several times since the AP article, and in a blog post on the settlement, Google said the ruling was “based on outdated product policies that we changed years ago.”  As part of the settlement, Google promises to make more privacy settings changes in “the coming months,” saying the changes include:

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