Monday, November 14, 2022

AG Gets $6 Million in Google Tracking Settlement

Attorney Generalissimo Lynn Fitch issued the following statement.

Attorney General Lynn Fitch today announced that Mississippi, along with 39 other Attorneys General, has reached a $391.5 million multistate settlement with Google over its location tracking practices relating to Google Account settings. This is the largest multistate Attorney General privacy settlement in the history of the U.S. Mississippi will receive $6,026,914.88 from the settlement.

“Location tracking can be used to reveal a lot about the consumer,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch, “and it can leave a person exposed to identity theft or other fraud. But even when it is part of a legitimate marketing purpose, the consumer needs to be able to make an informed decision about how their location data is used. It is your personal data and you have the right to decide if and how it can be used.”

Location data is a key part of Google’s digital advertising business. Google uses the personal and behavioral data it collects to build detailed user profiles and target ads on behalf of its advertising customers. Location data is among the most sensitive and valuable personal information Google collects. Even a limited amount of location data can expose a person’s identity and routines and can be used to infer personal details.

The Attorneys General opened the Google investigation following a 2018 Associated Press article that revealed Google “records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to.” The article focused on two Google account settings: Location History and Web & App Activity. Location History is “off” unless a user turns on the setting, but Web & App Activity, a separate account setting, is automatically “on” when users set up a Google account, including all Android phone users. As detailed in the settlement, the attorneys general found that Google violated state consumer protection laws by misleading consumers about its location tracking practices since at least 2014. Specifically, Google caused users to be confused about the scope of the Location History setting, the fact that the Web & App Activity setting existed and also collected location information, and the extent to which consumers who use Google products and services could limit Google’s location tracking by adjusting their account and device settings.

The settlement requires Google to be more transparent with consumers about its practices. Google must:

Show additional information to users whenever they turn a location-related account setting “on” or “off”;

Make key information about location tracking unavoidable for users (i.e., not hidden); and

Give users detailed information about the types of location data Google collects and how it’s used at an enhanced “Location Technologies” webpage.

The settlement also limits Google’s use and storage of certain types of location information and requires Google account controls to be more user-friendly.

The Attorneys General of Oregon and Nebraska led the settlement negotiations, assisted by Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. The final settlement was also joined by Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.


Anonymous said...

They only settled because it was in their best interest to have a unified attack against stepmom for Daddy's money.

Oh wait, wrong case.

KZ said...

I do not remember, but what did MS get on the Tabacco Lawsuit. This says it was the largest in MS history, just curious??

Anonymous said...

another "legal" shakedown. taxpayers won't see a dime

Anonymous said...

Attorneys create nothing. They wait for the doers "to do", then look at every angle they can of the "done", in a naked attempt to steal from the success. Over 90% of the world's lawyers are Americans.

Anonymous said...

So, when do the consumers that were damaged get their share of the $6 Mil?
Where do I sign up for my $2?

Anonymous said...

It’s not Lynn’s work!

Anonymous said...

You have to read all the words: this release says it is the largest "privacy settlement" in U.S. history. That means lit more than it is the largest one so far dealing with privacy issues and Google. The tobacco settlement was for BILLIONS, not millions, so this one pales in comparison to the tobacco settlemnt.

Anonymous said...

House republicans will spend it as soon as it hits the general fund. Right Speakah Gunnnn?

Anonymous said...

According to a July 4, 1997, article in Washington Post, MS received nearly $3.4 billion in the tobacco settlement.

Anonymous said...

As I type this there are lots of capitol piggies (pols) fixin' to belly up to that settlement trough. Sooeee.

Wait, $6 million might just cover a MHP law suit.

Anonymous said...

Friends don't let friends use Google; they use duckduckgo.

Anonymous said...

The righteous honorable mayor Prince Chowke will be insisting on his inclusive cut in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

Anonymous said...

4:47 I thought the same thing. I thought, "so let me get this straight: the AG, who is paid with taxpayer money, teams up with other AGs (who are also paid by the taxpayers), and sue a private company. The award is, effectively, a "fine" to Google, but the states keep the money whose money is really the parties on whose behalf they sued Google in the first place."

Got it.

Anonymous said...

What is notable is that this started under Hood’s administration. Not Lynn’s.

Anonymous said...

so every mississippian will get like $4?

Anonymous said...

By the way, fellow peons, what became of that $3.4 billion other than a few school posters encouraging no-smoking?

When the hell will this state use its windfall and flush-coffer money to totally revamp our prison system - Including building two sensibly located prisons (not in some boondock, isolated area) where there are available labor force candidates and city accommodations that will attract professionals and others.

It's long since been time to bulldoze Parchman and turn the place back into a cotton or bean field. Every soul working at Parchman has two or more relatives locked up there.

Anonymous said...

Great, I’m sure this will be “invested“ wisely and move this state forward. LOLOL

Anonymous said...

The equivalent of giving a kid a dollar to go away and shut up. This is chump change and means nothing to google and provides nothing to the citizens who were the actual defendants. The only winner here is legal community who gets paid.

Anonymous said...

How much for the attorneys?

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight. Google tracks me, the state sues Google on my behalf, Google settles, and the state keeps the money. Not that $6mil split between the masses would amount to much, but still seems kind of BS.

Anonymous said...

King Chowke will be demanding his fair, diverse, radical, and equitable share as soon as he returns from (Miami, Atlanta, Banff, Bloomberg's home).

Anonymous said...

5:40 am, where would you suggest the state build these two prisons? Do you think they should be built in some area where the area around it would have to go into lock down every time a prisoner escapes? Why would a prison attract the professionals and others.

Anonymous said...

Money talks. It just does not necessarily tell the truth.

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful news. Why all the snark?

Anonymous said...

The attorney general's office has become a state-sponsored plaintiff's firm.

Anonymous said...

once again the Lawyers win, we the people they "protect' get nothing. Imagine if a doctor saved your life and got 40 percent of your wealth. There needs to be an end to direct consumer marketing of trial lawyers. If you have parasites, they will drain you of your health until you die. All lawyers are parasitic by nature and need to be regulated as not to fleece the public. Ban lawyer ads, tell One call that's all and for the people to piss off.

Anonymous said...

to 4;42...........considering the united states has the worlds largest economy you little 90 percent rule looks pretty lame.

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