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Arizona AG Fines Google $85 Million Over Alleged Deceptive Location Tracking

  • Arizona AG Mark Brnovich reached a settlement agreement with Google to resolve allegations that the internet search and technology company unlawfully obtained users’ location data and used that information to sell advertisements and analyze their effectiveness in violation of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act.
  • According to the complaint, Google allegedly misled consumers by continuing to track user data even after they had disabled their “Location History,” despite the company’s assurances to the contrary. Location information was allegedly instead collected through other settings, such as “Web & App Activity,” without the user’s knowledge, and the company used that detailed information, including physical locations, to target users with advertisements in specific geographic locations.
  • According to the AG’s office, the $85 million settlement represents one of the largest consumer fraud lawsuits in Arizona history. The majority of the funds will be directed to Arizona’s general fund, with $5 million earmarked for attorney general education programs, and $7.75 million going to outside counsel who assisted with the suit.
  • This settlement comes after the recent FTC report showing how companies use so-called “dark-patterns” to allegedly subvert consumers’ privacy choices, as reported here.