The Google meme
$85 million? I forgot how to count that low.
Google will pay $85 million to settle a privacy lawsuit that accused the internet behemoth of deceiving netizens regarding its harvesting of people's location data and using this personal info to rake in billions of dollars in advertising revenue. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) sued Google in May 2020 over these …
If an individual did this, such as a teenage hacker for example, then he would be jailed for cyberstalking, it would all be on the news, a major outcry, etc... But when a corporation does it barely anyone reacts to it and a small fine is imposed, which is just dismissed by the corporation as "the cost of doing business". Those in power can get away with almost anything. And the vast majority of the public remain apathetic.
I've got a cheap 5000mwH battery cell phone I use only as a GPS when bicycle riding because it's cheaper than a Garmin - no SIM card. Unfortunately sometimes it gets very aggressive about telling me I need to improve location information "OK - Cancel", which means connect to wifi or bluetooth, I presume. "I've told you NO a thousand times already!".
Can someone tell me how the hell we ended up here?
Arizona's view: File a lawsuit, get free money.
Google's view: Here is $85M to go away.
This is a government entity shaking down a deep pocketed company for money, plain & simple It seems to me we should hold our government to a higher standard. Pursue the conviction, not the money.
If the government's case against Google is so strong, it should be followed through to conviction. If the government's case is not strong enough to generate a conviction, then the government should not be filing the lawsuit in the first place!
Isn't this an inherent conflict of interest for the State of Arizona? The State, through its Attorney General, files a lawsuit. The State, through its Superior Court, accepts a settlement. The State receives $80M for their general fund.
The State should NOT be allowed to 'settle' lawsuits where the State is the financial benefactor of the settlement!
I am afraid that where the Merriam Webster dictionary is involved, I find quite a lot of words do not seem to mean what the Oxford English Dictionary tells me they do. This side of the pond, the OED takes precedence over all others!
Over the other side of the pond, it often seems that most words can be made to mean whatever the speaker wishes them to mean.
Arizona: 7 million people, $85M fine, $12/head
Australia: 26 million people, US$42M fine, $1.6/head
So my location privacy for a year is worth less than the latest restaurant dinner that Google has geo-tagged me with?
And Arizonians' location privacy is worth 7X the value of Australians'?
Or are Australians just that much less susceptible to internet advertising?