Illinois to receive over $19.5M in Google settlement

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced a more than $391 million bipartisan national settlement with Google on Monday.

Illinois will receive more than $19.5 million under the settlement.

An investigation, opened in 2018 by Raoul and a coalition of attorneys general, revealed that Google misled consumers about its location tracking practices.

An article in the Associated Press from 2018 revealed that Google recorded movements, "even when you explicitly tell it not to."

"Consumers were deceived by Google as to when their location was being tracked and how that information was used," Raoul said. "With the proliferation of smart devices that collect increased data on its users, today’s announcement highlights the need for updated privacy laws that more effectively protect consumers."


According to Raoul, the AP article focused on two Google account settings: location history and web & app.

According to the article, the Location History default setting is "off" unless a user turns on the setting. 

With Web & App activity, it is automatically turned on when users set up a Google account – which also includes all Android phone users.

Google will use personal and behavioral data it collects to build user profiles and target ads on behalf of its advertising customers, Raoul said.

Location data is among the data Google collects.

Google agreed to a series of provisions designed to give consumers more transparency into Google's practices, Raoul said.

This includes showing additional information whenever users turn an account setting on or off, making key information about location tracking unavoidable for users and creating enhanced "location technologies" webpage, where users can get detailed information about the type of location data Google collects and how it's used.

The settlement will also put limits on Google's use and storage of certain type of location information, Raoul said.

Additionally, it requires Google account controls to be more user-friendly.