Google agreed to pay $93 million in damages for allegedly collecting users’ location data in a misleading manner, at a time when location-based advertising is of critical importance.
The lawsuit filed in the USA brought to the fore allegations that Google tracks the locations of even users who keep their location history turned off through the “Web and Application Activity” section. It is thought that this situation will directly affect advertising activities, which constitute a large part of Google’s revenue model.
High Compensation Decision in the Case Held in California
The lawsuit filed by California Attorney General Rob Bonta revealed Google’s misleading practices regarding location data. Google claimed that its users could remain anonymous by turning off location history, but in reality, the situation was different. According to the Attorney General’s claim, Google continued to monitor its users through other account settings such as “Web and Application Activity“.
“Google was telling its users one thing -that it would no longer track their location once they opted out- but doing the opposite and continuing to track its users’ movements for its own commercial gain. Thats unaccaptable.”Rob Bonta.
As a result of this case, Google agreed to pay compensation of 93 million dollars. But it looks like this won’t be the end for the company. In addition to compensation, Google also agreed to comply with the new terms. The company will be more transparent for services and applications that can track location and will provide its users with more information about how location data is shared.