In order to resolve charges made by California and private litigants that the search engine firm misled users about how it tracks their movements and uses their data without permission, Google agreed to pay $155 million.
These agreements satisfy complaints that an affiliate of Alphabet Inc. misled users into thinking they had some kind of control over how Google gathered and handled their personal data.
The business was accused of misleading customers about their capacity to reject unwanted adverts and of “profile” persons in order to target them with advertisements even if they disabled their “Location History” setting.
According to the California settlement, Google must pay $93 million and provide greater information on how it tracks people’s whereabouts and makes use of the data it gathers.
After deducting legal costs, Google’s $62 million settlement with private litigants will be distributed to court-approved nonprofit organizations that monitor internet privacy issues.
Google’s Settlement Distribution Raises Concerns
The plaintiffs’ attorneys argued that this was reasonable given that it was “infeasible” to distribute money to the approximately 247.7 million American adults who own mobile devices.
Critics claim that this “cy pres,” settlement style provides little value to class members.
These agreements must be approved by the court because Google denies any wrongdoing.
Google agreed to pay $391.5 million last November to settle claims made by 40 U.S. states.
Also, the Mountain View, California-based business has agreements for $124.9 million with Arizona and Washington.
A Google representative stated that the multistate settlement was connected to “outdated product policies that we changed years ago.” in reference to a blog post mentioning it on Friday.
Private plaintiffs’ attorneys did not immediately reply to demands for comment.
In the first half of 2023, Google generated $110.9 billion in advertising income, or 81% of its overall $137.7 billion in revenue.