LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A legal settlement with an internet search engine company will bring millions of dollars into the state.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced Monday that her office had reached a settlement with Google over how it tracks users. Arkansas was one of 40 states which reached the $391.5 million total settlement and will receive $11,368,923.47.
Arkansas was on the executive committee in reaching the settlement. The AG called it “the largest multistate Attorney General privacy settlement in U.S. history.”
The investigation into privacy was launched after an Associated Press story in 2018, revealing that Google tracked cell phone movements even if someone instructed it not to do so, officials said. At issue was the location history setting on Android phones.
If a phone user selected to keep location history off, the user’s location would still be tracked through a web and application activity setting, which was on by default. The announcement said default location tracking violated the privacy laws of the states which filed the suit.
Oregon and Nebraska attorneys general led the settlement negotiations, assisted by Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. The final settlement was also joined by Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.