On October 3, 2022, Google LLC (“Google”) agreed to pay the State of Arizona $85 million to settle a consumer privacy lawsuit that alleged the company surreptitiously collected consumers’ geolocation data on smartphones even after users disabled location tracking.
Arizona’s lawsuit followed a 2018 Associated Press article that alleged Google continued to track the location of Android devices even after users disabled the Location History setting on the device. Google allegedly relied on other settings, including Web & App Activity, to access the device’s location data, and used the information for targeted advertising purposes. According to a spokesman for Google, Arizona’s lawsuit was based on product policies the company updated years ago.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich noted that the settlement represents the largest per capita fine Google has paid in a data privacy and consumer fraud lawsuit to date. Google is facing similar lawsuits over user geolocation tracking in Indiana, Texas and Washington, D.C.