West News Wire: According to state Attorney General Todd Rokita, Google will make a $20 million payment to Indiana to end the state’s legal dispute with the internet giant over allegedly dishonest location monitoring methods.
When discussions between the business and a group of state attorneys general came to a standstill, Rokitas, he claimed, filed a different complaint against the search engine giant. In November, the business and those states reached a settlement worth $391.5 million.
According to Rokita’s declaration on Thursday, Indiana obtained roughly twice as much money as it would have under the agreement with the 40 states in the coalition as a result of the separate case.
This agreement, according to Rokita, “is another another illustration of our unwavering dedication to shield Hoosiers from Big Tech’s intrusive plans.”
States began investigating after a 2018 Associated Press story that found that Google continued to track people’s location data even after they opted out of such tracking by disabling a feature the company called “location history.”
Google did not admit to any wrongdoing as part of the deal with Indiana.
The company issued a lengthy statement Friday saying that over the past few years, it has introduced more transparency and tools to help users manage their data and minimize the data it collects. Google said it launched auto-delete controls and turned them on by default for all new users, giving them the ability to automatically delete data on a rolling basis.
Google also said it developed settings such as incognito mode on Google Maps.
“These are just some ways that we have worked to provide more choice and transparency,” the company said.
Indiana’s lawsuit alleged Google uses location data to build detailed user profiles and target ads. It alleged that the company has deceived and misled users about its practices since at least 2014.
Rokita said he sued Google because even a limited amount of location data can expose a person’s identity and routines. Such data can be used to infer personal details such as political or religious affiliation, income, health status or participation in support groups as well as major life events such as marriage and the birth of children, he said.