Google pays $85 million settlement for targeted ads

  • Google has chosen to settle to the tune of $85 million following a lawsuit filed in 2020. 
  • The company was being sued for tracking Android users in Arizona for targeted ads. 
  • Google is also being sued in other US states for similar practices.

This week Bloomberg has reported on a settlement between Google and the state of Arizona over the illegal tracking of Android users in the region. The settlement figure is to the tune of $85 million, with it stemming from a 2020 lawsuit in which the company is alleged to be tracking users for targeted ads, despite stating that it had disabled location data settings.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich argued for the state in the lawsuit, noting that the settlement is the largest of its kind that Google has paid to date.

It also looks like it may not be the only settlement that Google makes over the same issue, with Attorney Generals in Texas, Washington, D.C. and Indiana, suing the tech giant too over data privacy infringements.

This is rather concerning for Android users, especially as Google has highlighted its evolving stance over privacy when it comes to third-party cookies and its Sandbox in the past. As such, it seems like Google is quite happy to continue with nefarious tracking practices.

It is now a question of just how extensive this practice is, with the United States likely not the only country where it happens.

That said, given the relatively small amounts of the settlements compared to the money that the company rakes in each year, as Engadget points out, does the big tech firm actually care?

“We provide straightforward controls and auto delete options for location data, and are always working to minimize the data we collect. We are pleased to have this matter resolved and will continue to focus our attention on providing useful products for our users,” spokesperson José Castañeda told the publication in relation to the settlement.

[Image – Photo by Greg Bulla on Unsplash]


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