Technology giant Google agreed to pay $93 million as part of a settlement with the state of California regarding its location data privacy practices.
The agreement, announced by California Attorney General Rob Bonta on Thursday, comes nearly a year since Google consented to pay a record $391.5 million in a settlement reached with a coalition of 40 state attorneys general—excluding California—regarding a setting that tracked location data without users’ knowledge.
California’s multiyear investigation uncovered similar findings—that Google was “deceiving users by collecting, storing, and using their location data for consumer profiling and advertising purposes without informed consent,” according to a press release.
“Our investigation revealed that Google was telling its users one thing—that it would no longer track their location once they opted out—but doing the opposite and continuing to track its users’ movements for its own commercial gain,” said Bonta. “That’s unacceptable, and we’re holding Google accountable with [this] settlement.”
Under the terms of the proposed judgement, which remains subject to court approval, Google must enhance its user privacy settings to offer greater transparency around its use of location data for advertising purposes.
The attorney general’s complaint was not brought under the California Consumer Privacy Act, which provides consumers in the state control over how companies collect and store their data.
In response to its previous settlement with states, Google published a blog post explaining improvements the company has already made to enhance transparency over use of location data. The company described its alleged misconduct as being the result of “outdated product policies that we changed years ago.”
Google did not admit liability in reaching settlement.