Google to Pay $155 Million to Settle Location Tracking Lawsuits
Google has agreed to pay $155 million to settle lawsuits brought by California and private plaintiffs who accused the tech giant of misleading consumers about how it tracks their locations and using their data without consent.
These settlements address claims that Google misled individuals into thinking they had control over how their personal data was collected and used. The company was accused of being able to profile people and target them with ads even if they disabled the “Location History” setting, as well as misleading users about their ability to block unwanted ads.
The California settlement requires Google to pay $93 million and provide more transparency about its tracking practices and data usage.
The $62 million settlement with private plaintiffs, after legal fees, will benefit court-approved nonprofit groups focused on internet privacy issues. This approach was chosen because distributing money to the approximately 247.7 million U.S. adults with mobile devices was deemed “infeasible.”
Critics argue that such “cy pres” settlements provide little benefit to class members.
Google has denied any wrongdoing, and both settlements are pending court approval.
In November of the previous year, Google agreed to pay $391.5 million to settle similar allegations with 40 U.S. states. The company has also reached settlements totaling $124.9 million with Arizona and Washington.
Google generated $110.9 billion in advertising revenue in the first half of 2023, constituting 81 percent of its total revenue of $137.7 billion during that period.