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illegal location data tracking
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Security & privacy

Google is paying out an $85M settlement – See if you qualify

Big Tech can make money by tracking your location history. Some companies are so hungry for that lucrative data that they’ll circumvent your privacy settings. Google is currently facing accusations of illegal location data tracking. In other words, certain Android users may have been tracked even after they opted out.

This is all alleged, of course. But instead of going to trial, Google settled a lawsuit for $85 million. This leads many people to wonder if they can get a piece of the pie. Before we give you the payout details, here’s some quick background.

First, this only affects Americans in one state. Secondly, tap or click here to turn off Google’s location data settings. Although the legal system hasn’t determined whether or not Google was indeed in the wrong, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

A historic decision

Attorney General Mark Brnovich says this is one of the biggest settlements in Arizona history. On Tuesday, he announced that Google would pay $85 million to the state to settle a lawsuit. Here’s some quick background info:

  • The lawsuit began in 2020 when Brnovich’s office said Google used deceptive tactics to attain users’ location data.
  • Two years later, the case was settled.
  • A Google representative said that the case is based on “outdated product policies” that are no longer in effect.

You should know that even if you opt out of tracking, you can’t trust all companies to keep their word. Although it wasn’t proven in court that Google violated its user privacy, you should still be wary. Tap or click here for a 30-second privacy check every Google and Facebook user must do today.

How this affects you

If you’re an Android user in Arizona, you might be eligible for a piece of the settlement. However, there aren’t any public forms you can fill out to see if you’re eligible for part of this settlement. Everything is still processing, it seems.

Also, $5 million will go to education programs. The rest of the settlement will require “legislative appropriation before it can be spent,” according to the attorney general’s office. Check out the attorney general’s announcement for details.

You can also look over legal documents like the settlement notice. If you’re an Android user in Arizona, you should keep your eyes peeled for any updates. We’ll post updates as they come in. Or you can subscribe to one of our newsletters. We’ll keep you updated on all the latest tech news. Tap or click here to subscribe.

Concerned about illegal location data tracking? Check out these tech tips

Use Google Maps? How to see everywhere you’ve been

Eight ways your phone is tracking you – That you can stop now

True or false: The government can track your phone’s location without a warrant

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