September 22, 2023

Google will pay $93 million in a settlement it reached with California Attorney General Rob Bonta, resolving allegations that the company’s location-privacy practices violated the state’s consumer protection laws. The California Department of Justice claimed that Google was “collecting, storing, and using their location data” for consumer advertising purposes without informed consent.

The complaint alleges that Google continued to collect consumer data related to a user’s location even when a user turned the “location history” feature off. Google has settled similar lawsuits in Arizona and Washington last year for illegally tracking consumers.


In addition to paying $93 million, Google agreed to “deter future misconduct.” This settlement, which won’t really hurt Google’s deep pockets, is important because the tech giant generates the majority of its revenue from advertising, and location-based advertising is a critical feature of its advertising platform.

Additionally, the complaint claims that Google deceived users about their ability to opt out of advertisements that were targeted to their specific location.

In addition to the cash settlement, Google has agreed to these terms:

  • Show additional information to users when enabling location-related account settings.
  • Provide more transparency about location tracking.
  • Provide users with detailed information about the location data that Google collects and how it is used through a “Location Technologies” webpage.
  • Disclose to users that their location information may be used for ad personalization.
  • Disclose to users before using Location History data to build ad targeting profiles for users.
  • Obtain review by Google’s internal Privacy Working Group and document approval for all material changes to location-setting and ads personalization disclosures that will have a material impact on privacy. 

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: