Colorado wins over $8 million in multi-state settlement with Google

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and 38 other attorneys general have reached a $391.5 million settlement with Google over its location-tracking practices, their offices announced Monday.

Colorado will receive $8.3 million from the settlement.

“Google told consumers they could stop sharing their location information if they turned off location history on their phones. Contrary to its promise to consumers, the company has continued to track and collect location data separately,” Weiser said in a statement.

The $391.5 million nationwide settlement is “the largest multi-state privacy settlement in U.S. history,” according to Weiser’s office.

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Iowa will receive nearly $6.2 million from the settlement, according to a press release. In addition, the agreement requires that Google provide more transparency measures for location tracking services, including providing users with more information when they enable or disable a location-based account setting and creating a “location technology” webpage that explains Google’s types of location data is collected and how that information is used.

Miller said the settlement is an important step in ensuring tech companies comply with state and federal privacy laws.

“When consumers make the decision not to share location data on their devices, they should have confidence that a company is no longer tracking their every move,” Miller said. “That was not the case with Google’s tracking practices.”

The settlement came after attorneys general launched an investigation into Google in light of a 2018 Associated Press report that found that Google services and Android phones and iPhones store location data even when users “explicitly opt out.” “. In the investigation, the AGs found that Google has misled consumers about its location tracking practices since at least 2014, in violation of state consumer protection laws.

The settlement not only makes more location-tracking information easily accessible, but also sets limits on how Google uses and stores certain types of location information, the press release said.

This is one of several disputes in which Weiser, Miller and other AGs have been involved with Google. In 2020 and 2021, Democratic Party attorneys general joined lawsuits alleging that Google engaged in anticompetitive practices and maintained monopolies in search engines and their advertising markets, as well as its App Store and Google Billing.

Quentin Young contributed to this report.

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