NH to receive $1.8m in Google settlement

Suit filed by five states claimed company had misled users about location tracking

Google Plus On Apple IphoneThe state of New Hampshire will be receiving receive $1.8 million through a settlement with Google over the online giant’s location-tracking practices, state Attorney General John Formella has announced.

The money comes through a $9 million settlement with a total of five states over allegations that Google violated state consumer-protection laws by misleading consumers about these practices.

The attorneys general claimed that Google had been misleading consumers since at least 2014. They alleged the company caused users to be confused about account settings and how to limit Google’s location-tracking services.

“Transparency regarding the way that large technology companies like Google track, share, and use the personal data of its users is critically important,” Formella said.

According to Formella, “consumers need to be able to understand how their location data will be used before making the conscious decision to utilize services and products,” adding that the settlement “will go a long way to ensure that Granite Staters have transparency and control over how Google tracks and maintains their location data.”

According to the AG’s news release, the settlement requires Google to:

  • Show additional information to users whenever they turn a location-related account setting “on” or “off”
  • Make key information about location tracking unavoidable, or not hidden
  • Give users detailed information about the types of location data Google collects, and how the data are used at an enhanced “Location Technologies” web page.
  • Give users the ability to disable a location-related account setting, and delete the location information stored by that setting without needing to navigate to separate web pages.

• Limit its use and retention of certain types of location information and requires Google account controls to be more user-friendly.

Categories: Government, Law, News, Technology