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Google to pay a settlement of $155 million over location tracking


Google to pay a settlement of $155 million over location tracking

Google has agreed to pay $155 million to settle claims by California and private plaintiffs that the search engine company misled consumers about how it tracks their locations, and used their data without consent. Both settlements resolve claims that Google deceived people into believing they maintained control over how Google collected and used their personal data. 


The company was accused of being able to "profile" people and target them with advertising even if they turned off their "Location History" setting. There was a pure motive of deceiving people about their ability to block ads they did not want. 


"Google was telling its users one thing - that it would no longer track their location once they opted out - but doing the opposite and continuing to track its users' movements for its own commercial gain," California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement. "That's unacceptable." 


Google will now have to pay $93 million, and disclose more about how it tracks people's whereabouts and uses data it collects. Money from Google's $62 million settlement with private plaintiffs would, after deducting legal fees, go to court-approved nonprofit groups that track internet privacy concerns. 


Lawyers for the plaintiffs said this made sense because it was "infeasible" to distribute money to the approximately 247.7 million U.S. adults with mobile devices. 


Some critics say this type of settlement, known as "cy pres," offers little benefit to class members. 


Google denied liability, and both settlements require court approval. 

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