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Washington Attorney General wins settlement from Google on deceptive customer tracking practices

In 2022, the state of Washington filed a lawsuit against Google, Washington Attorney General v. Google LLC, asserting that Google uses a number of deceptive and unfair practices to obtain users’ “consent” to be tracked. Google earns profits from using consumer data to sell advertising. Location information is key to Google’s advertising business, so it has a financial incentive to dissuade users from withholding access to that data. As a result, it is nearly impossible for users to stop Google from collecting their location data.

The Washington state Attorney General retained Ilan Guedj to provide expert and consulting services in the case. Bates White estimated excess revenue Google received from collecting user location data in Washington.

The case settled, with Google agreeing to pay $39.9 million to Washington state. Google will also implement a slate of court-ordered reforms to increase transparency about its location tracking settings.

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