Google has negotiated tracking practices with 40 countries

Google has negotiated tracking practices with 40 countries

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. Multinational tech giant Google has agreed to a $391.5 million settlement with 40 states over its location-tracking practices.

This is the largest confidentiality agreement in United States history between state attorneys general.

Missouri’s share of the deal is nearly $8.7 million, while Kansas will receive $5.9 million.

40 attorneys general have accused Google of misleading consumers by secretly tracking users and collecting their personal and behavioral data.

Google will then use this data to target ads on behalf of its advertising clients. Over 81% of Google’s annual revenue generated from ads.

2018 Associated Press article revealed Google is “tracking your movements, like it or not.” Users can turn off Location History in their account settings, but web and app activity will automatically turn on when a user creates a Google Account. This applies to all Android phone users.

Google has been found to be violating state consumer protection laws regarding location tracking since at least 2014.

In addition to the financial reward, Google has:

  • Show additional information to users whenever they enable or disable location-related account settings;
  • Make key location tracking information unavoidable for users (i.e. not hidden); and
  • Provide users with detailed information about the types of location data Google collects and how it is used on the Advanced Location Technologies web page.

The agreement also limits Google’s use and storage of certain consumer location information. Google also needs to make its account controls more user-friendly so consumers can be better informed about their data.

Missouri was joined in the settlement by Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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