Another day and another tech company getting a slap on the wrist punishment for illegal user tracking and other privacy violations. This time around it’s Google’s turn with the state of Arizona fining Google Inc. 99,87 -0,96 -0,95% a measly $85 million dollars. I say measly because Google/Alphabet’s revenue in Fiscal Year 2021 was $258 Billion or $64.5 Billion Quarterly or $21.5 Billion Monthly. $85 million works out to three one-hundredths of a percent (.03%) of their annual revenue. Recall Google’s Android division failed to overturn an EU anti-trust ruling and ended up with a reduced fine of around $4 billion. Of course there is a big difference between lawsuit from a single US state versus the 27 European member States making up the EU. Nonetheless, this sends the wrong message that illegal user tracking and other privacy violation are not that big of a deal compared to being anti-competitive.
Google will pay Arizona $85 million to settle a 2020 lawsuit, which claimed that the search giant was illegally tracking Android users, Bloomberg reports. At the time, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich argued that Google continued to track users for targeted advertising, even after they turned off location data settings. If this sounds familiar, it’s because Google is also being sued by attorneys general in Texas, Washington, D.C., and Indiana over similar data tracking complaints. Brnovich’s office also notes that the $85 million settlement is the largest amount Google has paid per user in a privacy lawsuit like this.
In case you are wondering what the State of Arizona is going to do with $85 million settlement according to AZ Family:
Brnovich said the settlement directs the bulk of the money to the general fund and it will require legislative appropriation before it can be spent.