Google will pay Washington state $39.9 million (nearly Rs. 330 crore) to resolve a lawsuit accusing the Alphabet unit of misleading consumers about its location tracking practices, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said on Thursday.
The settlement resolves claims that Google deceived people into believing they controlled how the search and advertising company collected and used their personal data.
In reality, the state said Google was able to collect and profit from that data even if consumers disabled its tracking technology on their smartphones and computers, invading consumers’ privacy.
A consent decree filed on Wednesday in King County Superior Court requires Google to be more transparent about its tracking practices, and provide a more detailed “Location Technologies” webpage describing them.
“Today’s resolution holds one of the most powerful corporations accountable for its unethical and unlawful tactics,” Ferguson said in a statement.
Google, based in Mountain View, California, denied wrongdoing in agreeing to settle.
In November, Google agreed to pay $391.5 million (nearly Rs. 3,240 crore) to resolve similar allegations by 40 US states.
Some states including Washington chose to sue Google on their own about its tracking practices. Arizona reached an $85 million (nearly Rs. 703 crore) settlement with Google last October in one of those cases.
In response to the Washington settlement, Google referred to its earlier statement on the multistate accord, where it said it had addressed various concerns raised by regulators, including “outdated product policies that we changed years ago.”
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