Google is no stranger to making huge settlements for privacy violations. In just the past few years, Google has made settlements with thousands of companies and private users, racking up payments equaling up to $600 million from September 2022 to January 2023.
Let’s take a look at 4 of Google’s biggest privacy settlement payouts during that period:
The Illinois Settlement Coming up to $100 Million
According to the Chicago Tribune, Google made a settlement of $100 million to 420,000 Illinois residents. This brought up the individual payouts to around $150 per resident. The reasons for this payout included privacy violations on Google’s part. Google’s face grouping tool was found to be in violation of the biometric privacy law put into play under the state of Illinois. However, the payouts for residents are being appealed and delayed.
The Arizona Settlement Coming up to $85 Million
In October of 2022, Arizona Attorney General ruled on a $85 million settlement from Google over secretly obtaining and selling user data to advertising agencies. However, in the case of this settlement, Arizona residents will not receive any direct payouts. Instead, the settlement will go to a state general fund with an additional $5 million set aside for education programs headed by the attorney general.
The 40-State Settlement Coming up to $391.5 Million
In November 2022, Google made a $391.5 million settlement to a 40-state coalition. The settlement came from the privacy violation whereby users switched off their location tracking, yet Google continued to use their location data. This settlement was the biggest internet privacy settlement made in the history of the United States. Whether or not any users will receive a cash payout is yet to be known.
The California Settlement Coming up to $23 Million
The most recent of Google’s large privacy settlements is the California settlement of $23 million. This settlement was in response to a class-action lawsuit that has been in process for the last 12 years and has finally been settled. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit assert that Google used their search engine information relating to their searches and shared it with third-party advertisers. This was indirect violation of state laws and the federal Stored Communications Act. In addition to making the $23 million payout, Google was also required to provide clearer disclosures to users in the future. The settlement is still in the process of being approved by the courts, after which it is expected that the California residents in this lawsuit can receive their payouts.