Google on Monday agreed to settle a landmark privacy case with 40 US states over accusations that the search engine giant misled users into believing location tracking had been switched off on their devices.
A statement released (by the state attorneys) said it was the largest multi-state privacy settlement, reaching out to 127 million Californians and being an agreement with Google to improve their disclosures on individual choices.
“Digital platforms like Google just can’t turn around and claim to be protecting their user’s privacy then exploit that same privacy,” said New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin. “It seems that they are completely disregarding those self-granted promises with no regard.”
The rare joint lawsuit by 40 states grew from impatience over the failure of federal authorities to crack down on big tech amid legislative gridlock in Washington.
Governments have different viewpoints on what kind of rules they should enforce when it comes to online privacy. Tech companies have been very active in lobbying to limit the potential impact of such legislation.
With heavy fines for privacy violations, the US tech giants like Google, Amazon and others are facing increased scrutiny from European regulators.
As part of its settlement, Google agreed to pay a $23.5 million fine to the FTC for bypassing privacy settings on Android phones and tracking people by default.
Other states involved in the lawsuit included Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
You can’t really expect users to understand how those settings work, but Google clearly needs to make it clearer to them. It’s their job to handle that transparency for you.
Bye, next. This sentence is almost completely unchanged by the re-write.
“Consistent with our recent improvements in recent years, we have ended this investigation in the very short time that it took us to review the issue,” said Just Eat. “The policies we modified many years ago were several times more lenient than they are today.”
Google will provide more information on how it uses tracking in the future.