AG Derek Schmidt announces settlement with Google over location tracking practices

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TOPEKA – Kansas Derek Schmidt today (November 14, 2022) announced a settlement with Google over its location tracking practices related to account settings, resulting in an agreement by the internet search provider to alter its business practices to safeguard personal identification information of consumers.

The agreement is related to Google’s location data as it pertains to its digital advertising business. States raised concerns about consumer privacy and potential violation of privacy laws. The multistate settlement between Google, Kansas and 39 other states will result in Google paying $391.5 million to the states, of which $5.9 million will be received by Kansas.

Google uses the personal and behavioral data it collects to build detailed user profiles and target ads on behalf of its advertising customers. Location data is among the most sensitive and valuable personal information Google collects. Even a limited amount of location data can expose a person’s identity and routines and can be used to infer personal details.

The settlement requires Google to be more transparent with consumers about its practices. Google must:

  • Show additional information to users whenever they turn a location-related account setting “on” or “off.”
  • Make key information about location tracking more prominent for users.
  • Give users detailed information about the types of location data Google collects and how it’s used at an enhanced “Location Technologies” webpage.

The settlement also limits Google’s use and storage of certain types of location information and requires Google account controls to be more user-friendly.

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