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Google agrees to $93 million settlement over deceptive location tracking

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Google has agreed to pay $93 million to settle a lawsuit by the California attorney general, Rob Bonta, over deceptive practices.

The tech giant has been found to have misled consumers regarding tracking and storing their location information. 

The investigation, which spanned several years, concluded that Google falsely portrayed the level of control users had over their location data.

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The crux of the complaint revolves around the disparity between Google's representations and its actual handling of user location data. 

Google allowed users to disable their "location history" and claimed it would cease tracking their movements when this option was chosen.


However, it continued to collect and store location data through alternative means, like a user's "web and app activity" tracker, which remained active by default.

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Additionally, the attorney general's office alleged that Google deceived users regarding their ability to opt out of location-targeted advertisements.

Google has not admitted wrongdoing

Although Google is not admitting wrongdoing as part of the settlement, it has agreed to several conditions beyond the monetary payment. 

These conditions include increased transparency regarding location tracking practices and notifying users before utilizing location information for targeted advertising profiles.

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The firm must also obtain approval from Google's internal privacy working group before implementing significant privacy changes.

José Castañeda, a Google spokesperson, stated, “Consistent with improvements we’ve made in recent years, we have settled this matter, which was based on outdated product policies that we changed years ago.”

This settlement follows a previous lawsuit in which Google settled with 40 state attorneys general for nearly $392 million in 2022.

It faced identical allegations related to deceptive location privacy practices.

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