back to article Google burns few hours of profit to disappear location privacy lawsuit

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 …

  1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    The Google meme

    $85 million? I forgot how to count that low.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Google meme

      Should be more like 85 billion instead. And jail time for the executives who allowed this to happen. Stalking shoule be a criminal offence no matter whether it's done by an individual or a corporation.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Google meme

      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.

  2. Brian 3

    These cut price settlements are a crime against humanity. The minimum price of the settlement MUST BE at least equal to the total profit of the venture involved in the wrongdoing. Otherwise it is just a cost of doing business and no fault claimed? BS. No more!

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Agreed. Settled means "out of court", ie this isn't a fine in the legal sense. States should not be allowed to "settle" like this unless a very high bar is reached.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nosey Android

    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!".

    1. sreynolds

      Re: Nosey Android

      Tried flashing an OS that isn't loaded with Chinese spyware?

  4. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    ...said it will continue its efforts to harvest less user data

    Because all the world knows how difficult it is to _not_ do something!

  5. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Biology updated?

    ""Google's parent company Alphabet""

    By some strange evolutionary shift, Goooooooogle was able to engender its own 'parent'. Having done that that, there's probably no limit to what it can get away with.

  6. Marty McFly Silver badge

    "Google also admits no wrongdoing"

    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!

    Maybe this word does not mean what I think it means.

    1. nobody who matters Bronze badge

      Re: "Google also admits no wrongdoing"

      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.

    2. deadlockvictim Silver badge

      Re: "Google also admits no wrongdoing"

      This is one way of taxing companies.

  7. PRR Bronze badge

    What's it worth to YOU?

    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?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: What's it worth to YOU?

      Sounds about right. If/when a similar case comes up in the UK *we* will probably end up paying Google.

  8. Binraider Silver badge

    GPS, according the phone : Off.

    Physical location? The national agricultural centre.

    Adverts appearing? "Grants for planting hedgerows".

    Coincidence? Definitely not. This is not unique to google by any stretch of the imagination.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pay the tax keep the profits and stay out of jail

    Ahh the life of the super rich, they can do no wrong, long as they pay off the government.

    but when I try and offer a donut or a 20 when I get pulled over for speeding, I get arrested for two crimes, not fair. lol

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