California settles with Google for $93 million over location privacy practices

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Search giant Google agreed to a $93 million settlement Thursday with the state of California over its location privacy practices.

The settlement follows a $391.5 million settlement with 40 states reached in November 2022 to complete an investigation into how the company tracked users’ locations.

The states’ investigation was triggered by a Associated Press article 2018It found that Google continued to track people’s location data even after they opted out of that tracking by turning off a feature called Location History.

“Our investigation found that Google told its users one thing – that it would no longer track their location once they opted out – but did the opposite and continued to track its users’ movements for its own commercial gain. This is unacceptable and we are holding Google accountable with today’s settlement,” Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement.

Representatives for Google parent Alphabet Inc. did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. Google said last year that it had fixed the problems several years ago.

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As part of the settlement, in which Google did not admit any wrongdoing, the company also agreed to a number of restrictions, including greater transparency in location tracking, disclosing to users that their location information may be used to personalize advertising, and displaying additional Information users when enabling location-based account settings.

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