Google has been fined again! The accusation is not in overseas business, but was jointly initiated by prosecutors in 40 states in the United States, on the grounds that Google misled users in collecting personal location data, and users thought they had turned off location tracking in their account settings. continue to collect their location information.

As a result of the charges, Google has to pay $391 million for violations of user privacy. It is worth noting that the $391 million paid by Google this time is not called a fine on the surface, but a “reconciliation amount”, which means that there is no lawsuit this time, but by Oregon State Attorney Rosenblum and Nebraska State Attorney. Led by Chief Executive Doug Peterson, he conducted a “consumer privacy settlement negotiation” with Google, which meant that Google had to pay to reach a settlement with consumers whose privacy had been violated.

According to the official document of the Oregon Department of Justice, the negotiation was “very successful.” Google not only promised to pay a “settlement fee” of 391 million, but also promised to improve its privacy policy in the short term to make the privacy settings of its products more transparent and easier to adjust. Additionally, the State of Oregon will receive $14,800,563 (Consumer: ???) for its leadership in the investigation and resolution of this issue.

Evidence for this allegation comes from a 2018 Associated Press report,The report reveals that Google continues to track a user’s location on Android and iOS even after the user has turned off “Location History” in their account settings. Google, on the other hand, will combine the location data it collects with other identity and behavioral information it collects to develop detailed user profiles for its ad targeting and delivery. These practices have strongly affected the user’s privacy control.

Oregon Attorney General Rosenblum launched an investigation into Google after reading the report, finding that Google has been violating state consumer protection laws by misleading consumers about location tracking since at least 2014. In the official document, he launched a strong attack on Google’s behavior, and his words can be described as merciless:

Google has been crafty and deceitful for years, putting profit over user privacy.

Consumers thought they had turned off Google’s location tracking, but the company continued to secretly record their movements and use the information for advertisers.

In response to the promise of this negotiation, Google also issued an announcement called “Managing Your Location Data.”The announcement first explained that “the previous collection of user location is to better serve consumers, such as Google Maps can avoid traffic jams”, and then explained that “in the past few years, we have been optimizing the user privacy policy andMinimize the data we collect“, and finally promised to “optimize the user privacy policy in 2023.” “

What makes people laugh is that Google’s words in the announcement are quite aggrieved:

we based onmany years agofixed oneObsolete Products PolicyAn investigation was concluded with 40 US state attorneys general.Apart fromFinancial settlementwe will also be updating in the coming months to provide greater control and transparency over location data.

The 2022 Q3 financial report shows that Google’s total revenue was US$69.09 billion, net income was US$13.9 billion, and total advertising revenue for the three-month period was US$54.48 billion.

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