SC, 39 attorneys general reach multistate privacy settlement with Google

The office calls it the largest multistate settlement dealing with privacy in U.S. history
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 1:49 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 14, 2022 at 4:49 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The Office of Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that South Carolina, along with 39 other attorneys general, reached a $391. 5 million multistate settlement with Google.

Georgia and North Carolina attorneys general are also included in the settlement.

According to the office, the settlement is for location tracking practices related to Google Account settings and is the largest multistate attorney general privacy settlement in the history of the United States.

South Carolina will receive $7,813,840.87 from the settlement, according to the office.

“For years, Google has prioritized profit over the privacy of South Carolinians who use Google products and services,” said Attorney General Wilson in a release. “Consumer privacy is one of the most important issues facing consumers right now, and our office will continue to do its part in ensuring the protection of our citizens in this way.”

The settlement requires Google to be more transparent with consumers about its practices and do the following:

  • Show additional information to users whenever they turn a location-related account setting “on” or “off”;
  • Make key information about location tracking unavoidable for users (i.e., not hidden); and
  • Give users detailed information about the types of location data Google collects and how it’s used at an enhanced “Location Technologies” webpage.

The settlement also limits Google’s use and storage of certain types of location information and requires Google account controls to be more user-friendly.

The attorneys general of the following states are included: Oregon and Nebraska led the settlement negotiations, assisted by Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. The final settlement was also joined by Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.