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Google will pay $6.5M to Connecticut as part of a national location privacy settlement

In this photo illustration the Google, Gmail and Google Maps
SOPA/LightRocket
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Getty Images Illustration
In this photo illustration, Google, Gmail and Google Maps

Connecticut is expected to receive $6.5 million from Google as part of a settlement with states across the country.

The agreement was announced Monday.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said Google continued to collect personal information about its customers' location even after those customers told the internet giant not to track their locations.

Tong says the company's actions were an invasion of privacy and a violation of state law.

“The problem is, for a long time, Google has collected this information, even though it had represented to all of us that we could turn that off,” Tong said during an afternoon announcement.

Connecticut officials say even a limited amount of location data can expose a person’s identity and routines and be used to infer personal details.

Connecticut getting some compensation for opioid crisis
Tyler Russell
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Connecticut Public
Connecticut state Attorney General William Tong is shown in this file photo from July 2022.

“People deserve to have greater control over — and understanding of — how their data is being used,” Tong said in a statement.

The investigation started after a 2018 article by the Associated Press revealed the discrepancy between user selected privacy settings and what information Google was actually storing. Nationally, Google will pay $391.5 million to states.

“Consumers have a right to know if and how their data is being used,” Michelle Seagull, state Department of Consumer Protection commissioner, said in a written statement. “Companies like Google have a duty to be transparent in their data collection and advertising practices, and clearly give consumers the option to opt out of data sharing, including location tracking.”

In an emailed statement, Google spokesperson José Castañeda said: “Consistent with improvements we’ve made in recent years, we have settled this investigation which was based on outdated product policies that we changed years ago.”

Matt Dwyer is a producer for Where We Live and a reporter and midday host for Connecticut Public's news department.

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