Google settles California Privacy Lawsuit with $93 million payment. Google settles a privacy lawsuit in California with a massive payment showing its commitment to amending its controversial privacy practices.
The Case Against Google
The lawsuit, initiated by the Attorney General of California, hinged on the tech giant’s alleged violation of consumer protection laws. According to the California Department of Justice investigation, Google was found guilty of deceptive practices. These practices include unjustly collecting, retaining, and using Android users‘ location data without rightful consent.
Isn’t it creepy, Google was found tracking the location of users, even when the “Location History” feature was switched off? This resulted in a stark mismatch between user expectations and Google’s practices, causing many consumers to question, “Is Google really respecting my privacy?”
Outcomes of the California Privacy Lawsuit
In light of the settlement, Google has agreed to make several pertinent changes. User-friendly account controls are set to be implemented, along with restrictions on certain types of location data use. To enhance transparency, Google will also provide more detailed information about the types of data it collects along with their usage.
These revised practices signify Google’s intent to repair bridges, but is that going to be enough to regain user trust?
Google’s History of Multi-Million Settlements
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Google has ended up paying hefty amounts in privacy lawsuits. They previously settled with a coalition of attorneys general from 40 states for $391.5 million over similar privacy violations.
In August 2022, Google found itself embroiled in a controversy at the other side of the globe, slapped with a $60 million fine in Australia for deceptive location data practices.
Things didn’t improve in 2022 as France’s CNIL fined Google $170 million in January for infringing on user consent rights relating to website tracking cookies.
Considering these past fines, we must ponder, will these punishments deter Google’s errant behavior, or is it seen merely as a cost of doing business?
A Decade of Controversial Practices
Over the past decade, Google hasn’t been a stranger to controversies. From data collection and favoritism towards its services, to anti-competitive practices in online advertising, this behemoth has faced numerous fines globally. Google’s several infractions against user privacy leaves a cloud of skepticism. Will this latest settlement be a genuine step towards true privacy reform, or just another slap on the wrist?