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Michigan to receive millions of dollars from Google internet privacy settlement

Google webpage
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Michigan will receive close to $12 million from a settlement with Google.

The state of Michigan is receiving part of a multi-million dollar settlement with Google. The settlement follows an investigation from a coalition of attorneys general from across the country that found the company had violated consumer protection laws.

The agreement announced Monday is one of the largest internet privacy settlements in U.S. history, according to a press release from the state.

Google has agreed to pay $391.5 million dollars to 40 states for misleading users about its location tracking and collection practices.

In the press release, Attorney General Dana Nessel said Google makes most of its revenue from using consumers’ personal data.

“The transparency requirements of this settlement will ensure that Google not only makes users aware of how their location data is being used, but also how to change their account settings if they wish to disable location-related account settings, delete the data collected and set data retention limits,” she said.

Adam Candeub is a professor of law at Michigan State University who specializes in the regulation of communications, internet and technology. He says the settlement will force internet platforms including Google to be clearer about what data they collect from users.

“It was just sort of confusion in the various way the apps work and data was being collected even for those people that opted out or set their settings, so as not to have their location data selected,” he added.

Candeub says internet platforms like Google make money by collecting user data and selling it to advertising companies.

"You have to be very careful about your privacy settings," he said. "If you're using an app that requires your location, turn it off when it's not in use."

Michigan will receive close to $12 million from the settlement.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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