According to a news release, the settlement involved Google’s location tracking practices related to Google Account settings.
Wrigley stated that this is the largest multistate privacy settlements in the history of the United States. North Dakota will be receiving $4.1 million of that $391.5 million.
The investigation and upcoming settlement focused on Google’s misleading practices regarding data collection, retention, and use.
Privacy concerns were raised when it was revealed that Google records movements, even when you tell it not to. North Dakota joined the investigation when that information was released in 2018.
“This was alarming. Google’s actions in this regard were contrary to tenets of consumer protection that require the consumers’ permission or, at minimum, appropriate disclosure to the users so they could make informed decisions,” Wrigley said.
The settlement requires Google to be more transparent with consumers about its practices.
From now on, Google must:
- Show additional information to users whenever they turn a location-related account setting “on” or “off”
- Make key information about location tracking easily transparent to users
- Give users detailed information about the types of location data Google collects and how it’s used at an enhanced “Location Technologies” webpage
Wrigley encourages consumers to help avoid identity theft by paying even closer attention to their privacy and the use of their online information.
“This historic settlement not only limits Google’s retention and use of North Dakota users’ data but also allows consumers to make informed decisions about their data,” said Wrigley.