State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Google will pay $39.9 million to Washington as a result of a lawsuit over misleading location tracking practices, according to a media release from Ferguson’s office.
Ferguson said Google led users to believe they had control over how Google collected and used their location data.
The lawsuit contended users were not able to effectively prevent Google from collecting, storing, and profiting from their data.
According to Ferguson, the initial lawsuit was expected to be a multistate lawsuit, but Ferguson declined and chose to file independently.
Ferguson believes Washington received more than double the amount it would have received if it was part of a multistate lawsuit.
“Google denied Washington consumers the ability to choose whether the company could track their sensitive location data, deceived them about their privacy options, and profited from that conduct,” Ferguson said. “Today’s resolution holds one of the most powerful corporations accountable for its unethical and unlawful tactics.”
Google was also ordered to be more transparent with its users on how it tracks and uses consumer data.
According to Ferguson’s office, the money will be used to continue enforcement of the Consumer Protection Act, as the Consumer Protection Division receives minimal general fund support and mainly funds itself from cases like this.
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