back to article Google location tracking deal could be derailed by politics

Google's plan to pay $62 million to settle allegations that it tracked people even when their Location History setting was switched off may have to be renegotiated based on several objections. These include an objection to the proposal on the grounds that there was a lack of payment to those affected, allegations of ties …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "could be derailed by politics"

    You mean, politics other than lobbying efforts ?

    Those are the worst, ain't they ?

  2. Drakon

    > With regard to the Location History case, Frank argued in a filing [PDF] last week that the organizations receiving the money "engage in work that a substantial percentage of the class would not want to support (such as 'racial justice' – a codeword for support for racial discrimination and anti-Semitic policies – and promoting abortion)."

    I’m beginning to think that “conservative” is a codeword for insane.

    1. Dinanziame Silver badge

      Presumably, he would not have complained if the money had gone to the right organizations. Or as the case may be, the right-wing organizations.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge


      In the US, affirmative action is legal. Which is basically racial discrimination hopefully in the cause of repairing previous racial discrimination. I've seen suggestions it discrimates against Jewish people, because they're a minority that happen to be white - and tends to favour black people over people of spanish/latin origin or asian origin. I'm not claiming to be expert on US law and society, but I note that a lot of affirmative action / positive discrimination that's legal in the US is illegal in much of Europe for that very reason. The US is a different society, with different needs, but it's at least a reasonable argument that money supposedly belonging to the plaintiffs is basically being used by Google and the lawyers for causes they already support, rather than to correct Google's breach of contracts or breach of law.

      Not sure how racial justice politicies promote abortion? So maybe you're right, and he's a nutter. Or maybe they were also giving to other (say pro-abortion) organisations that are politically controversial?

      Google have form for this. They're supposed to be being punished by the courts, and restitution made to their victims. But, as in other cases, they keep trying to funnel the settlement cash to causes they already donate to. Which doesn't look very much like punishment, or do anything to help their victims.

      It rather makes the whole class-action thing look like a scam. Google pretend to be punished, and pay money to causes they and the lawyers support. The lawyers get paid a massive fat percenatge fee. Google carry on violating everyone's privacy as before.

      1. Blazde Silver badge

        He's definitely a nutter. He makes some valid points, then undermines them all by describing abortion and 'transgenderism' as "extreme left-wing ideology". Polling consistently shows a very signifiant majority of Americans support widespread access to abortion and LGBTQ rights so use of the word 'extreme' is strictly relative to views of ultra-conservatives who push the fiction of the US being some runaway snowflake socialist state one election away from certain collapse and eternal damnation in hell.

        What he doesn't mention is that the issue at hand (privacy) is also political, and that favouring regulation of businesses to protect consumer privacy could also - in his nutter language - be described as "extreme left-wing ideology" in that a small number of ultra-libertarians find that completely unacceptable.

        The ACLU is probably the best example of what he's talking about, for what it's worth:

        They support civil liberties in general. Undeniably political but I'd be surprised if most Americans couldn't find at least one issue in their list that they're somewhat okay with their $2 going towards. Though there are some pretty massive nutters out there so who knows.

        Personally I think the only really important thing is that bringing this kind of class-action lawsuit against powerful companies continues to be feasible in future. In that respect the truly important thing is that the lawyers get paid (I know I know, but that's the reality).

  3. a3a3el

    "Cy-près" is (Anglo-)French, not Latin.

    1. Pete Sdev Bronze badge

      I thought it was an island in the Med.

      1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        I thought it was a Hill

        1. cyberdemon Silver badge

          I thought it was a manufacturer of mixed-signal microcontrollers and power electronics, named after a tree

          1. Someone Else Silver badge

            I thought it was a kind of mulch.

  4. xyz123 Silver badge

    Doesn't help the ACLU in exchange for millions, agreed to funnel some of the money BACK to Google and some to the lawyers for "services rendered"......which is why the ACLU was selected as a beneficiary.

  5. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    $500 per person who was illegally tracked sounds fair. Maybe Google would stop continuously violating privacy laws after that.

    I don't care if it puts them out of business. Google's time as a beneficial evil passed years ago.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      But...but...but...won't somebody think of the AI?

  6. DS999 Silver badge

    If anyone can pay people small amounts

    It would be Google. Just have it show up when they login to their account, and give people a few options for how to disperse it like an Amazon credit, a Paypal credit, send via Venmo, etc.

    1. Chet Mannly

      Re: If anyone can pay people small amounts

      Plus many google accounts have payment details already saved for play store purchases and the like. Dead simple to send money to those details. Those without payment details can be asked howe they want to recieve their refund.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: If anyone can pay people small amounts

        I have a feeling the court would frown on Google automatically crediting the payment to be used for their play store. That could be one of the options but there's no way they could get away with making it automatic. Plus the court will want people to know the payment has been made and why. If Google can get away with simply crediting people a few bucks most won't even notice and Google not only gets away with a slap on the wrist but the people harmed by their conduct don't even get a chance to learn what Google did or why they were punished.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A whole $7.70 each?

    Whoopee! I’m rich! I might be able to buy a loaf of bread!

  8. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

    I do not see why they can't

    make individual payments to the victims of LOCATION TRACKING. I mean, they know right where they are, where they were and probably know where they're going.

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