Google has agreed to pay US$9.5 million, or approximately Rs 148 billion, to settle a lawsuit filed by US Attorney General Karl Racine of Washington, DC, accusing the company of defrauding its users and violating their privacy. I did.
Google has also agreed to change some practices, particularly with regard to how we inform users about the collection, storage and use of location data.
A complaint filed by Racine in January 2022 said, “Google leads consumers to believe that the company has control over how location information is collected and stored and how that information is used.”
Engadget reported on Saturday (December 31, 2022), “In effect, consumers using Google products cannot prevent Google from collecting, storing and monetizing their sites.”
Racine’s group also accused the company of using “dark patterns” aimed at tricking Google users into behavior that does not benefit them.
Google has also repeatedly asked users to enable location tracking in certain apps and said that some features will not work properly if location tracking is not enabled.
Racine and his team discovered that the app doesn’t need location data. They claim that Google seems to make it impossible for users to opt out of tracking their location.
A payment of IDR 148 billion is a small change for Google. Parent company Alphabet could generate that much revenue in less than 20 minutes.
It is important to note that the actual changes that the company will make as part of the litigation settlement may have a greater impact.
Users who currently have specific location settings enabled will receive notice on how to disable each setting, delete associated data, and specify how long Google can retain that information.
Users setting up a new Google Account are also notified about location-related account settings enabled by default and given the opportunity to opt out of this option.
Google must also maintain a web page detailing its location data practices and policies, including details about how users access location settings and how each setting affects Google’s collection, storage, or use of location data. .
Google also prohibits sharing an individual’s location data with third-party advertisers without the user’s explicit consent.
Companies must also delete location data originating from devices or IP addresses from web and app activity within 30 days of obtaining the information.
“Given the extensive tracking and monitoring that tech companies can include in their widely used products, it’s natural for consumers to understand how users’ data is tracked and used, including information about every step of the way,” Racine said. It’s a job,” said Racine. statement.
“Surprisingly, this decision also gives users the ability and choice to opt out of tracking, as well as restricting how user information may be shared with third parties,” he concluded.