Google has agreed to pay $391.5 million to settle a privacy lawsuit filed by attorneys from 40 states in the United States.
The settlement shows that the United States Attorneys General determined that the company deceived Android users and tracked their locations since 2014, even when they thought location monitoring was turned off.
By misleading Android users into believing that turning off “Location History” in the device’s settings would stop location tracking, Google has another app collecting data by default called “Web & App Activity” that allows the company to collect, store, and use personally identifiable location data from customers.
According to the settlements, Google should provide more user-friendly account controls and limit the company’s usage and storage of certain types of location data.
Google will also be required to be upfront with its customers about its location data monitoring and collecting activities, such as displaying extra information when location-related account settings are toggled and displaying specific information about what data it captures and how it is utilized.
Google has paid several privacy settlement payments in recent years, and many more are still pending in court.