Google has agreed to pay $39.9 million (about Rs. 330 crore) to Washington state to settle a lawsuit that accused the tech giant of misleading users about how it tracked and used their personal data.
The lawsuit, filed by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, claimed that Google violated users’ privacy by collecting and profiting from their location data even when they turned off its tracking technology on their devices.
According to a consent decree filed on Wednesday in King County Superior Court, Google will have to be more honest about its tracking practices and provide a more comprehensive “Location Technologies” webpage that explains them.
Ferguson said in a statement that the settlement “holds one of the most powerful corporations accountable for its unethical and unlawful tactics.”
Google, based in Mountain View, California, did not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement.
The company had previously agreed to pay $391.5 million (about Rs. 3,240 crore) to resolve similar allegations by 40 US states in November.
Some states, including Washington, decided to pursue their own lawsuits against Google over its tracking practices. Arizona reached an $85 million (about Rs. 703 crore) settlement with Google last October in one of those cases.
Google said in response to the Washington settlement that it had addressed various concerns raised by regulators, including “outdated product policies that we changed years ago.”