State to get $1.8M in settlement with Google

By RICK GREEN

The Keene Sentinel

Published: 03-25-2023 6:41 PM

New Hampshire is expected to receive $1.8 million from a settlement with Google over the search engine’s location-tracking practices, state Attorney General John Formella said Monday.

This is part of a $9 million settlement over allegations that Google violated state consumer-protection laws by misleading consumers about these practices, and involves several other states as well.

“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 in a news release.

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

A group of 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.

According to a news release from the N.H. Attorney General’s Office, 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.

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■Give users detailed information about the types of location data Google collects, and how the data are used at an enhanced “Location Technologies” webpage.

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