Google settles California lawsuit over its location-privacy practices

Google will pay it reached with California Attorney General Rob Bonta, resolving allegations that the company’s location-privacy practices violated the state’s consumer protection laws. The California Department of Justice claimed that Google was “collecting, storing, and using their location data” for consumer advertising purposes without informed consent.

The complaint alleges that Google continued to collect consumer data related to a user’s location even when a user turned the “location history” feature off. The company settled similar and for illegally tracking consumers.

In addition to paying $93 million, Google agreed to “deter future misconduct.” This settlement, which won’t really hurt Google’s deep pockets, is important because the tech giant generates the majority of its revenue from advertising and location-based advertising is a critical feature of its advertising platform.

Moving forward, the California AG is asking Google to provide additional transparency about location tracking by providing users with detailed information about location data it collects. The company must also provide disclaimers to users that their location information may be used for ad personalization.

Engadget reached out to Google for comment but didn’t receive a response.

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