Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. will pay $85 million to end a consumer privacy lawsuit filed by the state of Arizona.

The lawsuit, which was filed in May 2020, alleged that the search engine violated the state’s consumer fraud law and misled Internet users about its use of location data and data collection practices. He accused Google of continuing to track users’ locations without consent to increase ad revenue, even after users turned off location history in settings.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office launched an investigation into Google’s location data collection practices after a 2018 Associated Press story that revealed how the search company tracks users’ movements. “When I was elected attorney general, I promised Arizona that I would fight for them and hold everyone accountable, including corporations like Google,” Brnovich said in a press release. “I’m proud of this historic agreement that proves that no one, not even big tech companies, is above the law.”

The agreement includes $77250000 paid into the Arizona general fund and another $7750000 paid into the Arizona general fund. Most of these funds will be used by the Arizona Legislature to fund education, broadband and Internet privacy.

Under the terms of the agreement, Google would not be required to admit any violation or violation of the law.

Google’s lawsuit was based on outdated policies that changed years ago
In its defense, Google said Arizona’s lawsuit was based on outdated policies that are no longer in use.

“We provide simple controls and automatic deletion options for location data, and always work to minimize the data we collect,” Google spokesman Jose Castañeda said in a statement. “We are pleased that this issue has been resolved and will continue to focus our attention on providing useful products for our users.”

In 2021, advertising revenue accounted for 81% ($209.5 billion) of Google’s $257.6 billion. Much of this is generated by collecting data about users with and/or without explicit consent.

If, as Google argues, the lawsuit is based on a policy that is no longer in practice, this settlement should not significantly affect those revenues.

The search giant previously tried to dismiss the case, arguing that state consumer protection laws require that the alleged fraud be related to sales or advertising. In January, a judge denied that request.

Google faces a number of similar suits
This Arizona case is just one of several privacy lawsuits Google is facing. Similar complaints have been filed by a group of state attorneys general, including Indiana, Texas and the District of Columbia, over location data in their respective state courts.

In January 2022, a California district judge dismissed two of five claims in a class action lawsuit that accused Google of collecting app data from Android users in the same manner as the Arizona Attorney General. Alphabet Inc. did not seek to dismiss the other three claims.