WASHINGTON: Google on Monday agreed to pay $392 million to settle a landmark privacy case with 40 US states over accusations that the search engine giant misled users into believing location tracking on their devices had been switched off. A statement by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said it was the largest multi-state privacy settlement by authorities in US history and included a binding commitment by Google for improved disclosures on targeting for customers.
Google had been “crafty and deceptive”, Rosenblum added, as she announced the company’s agreement to pay up to end the case.
“Consumers thought they had turned off their location tracking features on Google, but the company continued to secretly record their movements and use that information for advertisers,” she added.
The rare joint lawsuit by 40 states grew from impatience over the failure of federal authorities to crack down on big tech amid legislative gridlock in Washington.