Google will pay Arizona $85 million over illegally tracking Android users

It's a win for privacy, but will Google even notice?

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Google will pay Arizona $85 million to settle a 2020 lawsuit, which claimed that the search giant was illegally tracking Android users, Bloomberg reports. At the time, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich argued that Google continued to track users for targeted advertising, even after they turned off location data settings. If this sounds familiar, it's because Google is also being sued by attorneys general in Texas, Washington, D.C., and Indiana over similar data tracking complaints. Brnovich's office also notes that the $85 million settlement is the largest amount Google has paid per user in a privacy lawsuit like this.

But given that Google is currently seeing quarterly revenue over $69 billion, the punishment may seem like a drop in the bucket. It's nothing compared to the $1.7 billion Google was fined by the EU over abusive advertising practices. In a statement, Google spokesman José Castañeda said the suit was related to older product policies that have been changed. “We provide straightforward controls and auto delete options for location data, and are always working to minimize the data we collect,” he said. “We are pleased to have this matter resolved and will continue to focus our attention on providing useful products for our users.”

Brnovich, meanwhile, says he's “proud of this historic settlement that proves no entity, not even big tech companies, is above the law."