Google settles lawsuit, will pay Arizona $85 million for using deceptive tracking practices


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Social Networks – a digital painting

Alex Keeler, Reporter

On Tuesday, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and his team announced that they had reached a $85 million dollar settlement with Google LLC, after the company was found to have been tracking their users’ location with unauthorized practices to facilitate the sale of advertisements. 

Arizona prosecutors have been investigating google since 2018, after a report was released by the Associated Press revealing that the tech company was misleading their consumers about how their data was being tracked. 

In 2020, Brnovich and his team sued google for allegedly tracking consumer data by using deceptive practices that are built into the software. 

According to the report, even if a user were to turn off or pause their “location history” in settings, Google allegedly tracked their location without their consent through other setting components like web or app activity in order to sell ads. 

Prosecutors argued that Google generates most of its revenue by selling ads that are shown to its users. 

The settlement was reached just before the case was set to go to trial later this month. 

Of the $85 million dollars awarded to the state of Arizona, most of the money received in the settlement will go to the general fund, with $5 million dollars going to attorney general education programs. 

According to the Arizona Center for Economic Progress, general fund monies are distributed primarily among nine different entities. The Department of Education receives the largest share at just under 50%. Health Services is second at nearly 16%.  

Brnovich released a statement shortly after the announcement of the settlement. 

“When I was elected attorney general, I promised Arizonans I would fight for them and hold everyone, including corporations like Google, accountable,” Brnovich said in the statement. “I am proud of this historic settlement that proves no entity, not even big tech companies, is above the law.” 

Jose Castaneda, a spokesperson for Google, also released a brief statement. 

“This case is based on outdated product policies that we changed years ago,” Castaneda said. “We are pleased to have this matter resolved and will continue to focus our attention on providing useful products for our users.”