Google will pay $85 million to the state of Arizona to settle a suit claiming the company unlawfully monitored Android user location for targeted advertising. 

The settlement comes when the tech giant is facing similar lawsuits from a group of state attorneys general including Texas, Indiana, and Washington DC.

The complaint was launched in May 2020 when Arizona accused Google of breaching the state’s Consumer Fraud Act.

READ MORE: GOOGLE WILL FACE STATES’ LAWSUIT OVER ONLINE ADVERTISING

The tech giant was charged with tracking users’ locations even if they opt out of a feature that records location data via other settings such as “Web & App Activity.”

Google made billions of dollars by selling advertising based on location data.

Defending itself, Google said state consumer protection law requires that alleged fraud be linked to a sale or advertisement.

An Arizona state judge refused Google’s plea to dismiss the case in January.

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Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office said the settlement reflects the largest sum per individual user Google has paid in “a privacy and consumer-fraud lawsuit of this kind.”

Mr Brnovich said: “I am proud of this historic settlement that proves no entity, not even big tech companies, is above the law.”

Google spokesman José Castañeda said Arizona’s lawsuit is based on outdated product policies that the firm modified years ago.

He said: “We provide straightforward controls and auto delete options for location data, and are always working to minimize the data we collect.

“We are pleased to have this matter resolved and will continue to focus our attention on providing useful products for our users.” 

Source: Bloomberg

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