Google settles with states over location tracking, Pennsylvania to receive $19.7M

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Forty state attorneys general and Google recently reached a $391.5 billion settlement over the company’s location tracking practices regarding Google Account settings.

The settlement is the largest multistate privacy settlement in U.S. history. Pennsylvania will receive $19.7 million.

Google uses personal and behavioral data to build detailed user profiles that it uses to target ads on behalf of advertising customers. Location data can expose a person’s identity and can be used to infer personal details.

Under the settlement, Google must make key information about location tracking visible for users, make account controls more user-friendly, create a webpage where users can get detailed information about the type(s) of location data Google collects and how it’s used, and must show additional information to users whenever they turn an account setting on or off.

Additionally, under the settlement, Google’s use and storage of certain types of location information have been limited.

“Right now, consumers are beholden to Google’s promise that Big Tech knows what’s best for users’ data,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “Google’s impact on the lives of everyday Americans is pervasive— they have a responsibility to consumers to ensure that the data they collect is only obtained with express consent from the user.”