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Tennessee to receive nearly $15 million in historic privacy settlement with Google

From Local 3 News: Tennessee and 39 other state attorneys general have reached a historic $391.5 million in a multistate privacy settlement with Google over its location tracking practices related to account settings.

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti announced the state will receive $14,560,086.13 from the settlement.

The attorneys general opened the investigation with Google following a 2018 article from the Associated Press which revealed the tech company “records your movement even when you explicitly tell it not to” and found that Google violated state consumer protection laws by misleading consumers about its tracking practices for at least eight years.

Specifically, Google allegedly caused users to be confused about the scope of location tracking and collection practices.

“Companies should not collect one bit of data from consumers unless they provide complete transparency about what data is collected and how it will be used,” Attorney General Skrmetti said in a release Monday.

The settlement requires that Google should be more transparent with users about practices by:

  • Showing additional information to users whenever they turn a location-related account setting “on” or “off”;
  • Make key information about location tracking unavoidable for users (i.e., not hidden);
  • Give users detailed information about the types of location data Google collects and how it’s used at an enhanced “Location Technologies” webpage.

The settlement also limits Google’s use and storage of certain types of location information and requires Google accounts to be more user-friendly.