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CONSUMER PRIVACY

Google makes another big payment over claims it breached privacy laws

By our News Team | 2022

Tech giant is paying US$85-million to Arizona to settle consumer privacy claims. In August it paid US$41-million to Australian authorities.

Google is to pay the American state of Arizona US$85-million to settle consumer privacy claims that it illegally tracked the locations of users of its Android devices.

According to the National Law Review, it is alleged that the company surreptitiously collected consumers’ geolocation data on smartphones even after users disabled location tracking.

Consumer Privacy

Photo by Antoni Shkraba from Pexels

The lawsuit was filed by the Arizona state government following a media investigation by the Associated Press news agency, which found that Google continued to track the location of the devices by relying on other settings that tracked web and app activity – including Google Maps and weather updates. The information was then used for targeted advertising purposes.

‘No entity is above the law’

“When I was elected attorney general, I promised Arizonans I would fight for them and hold everyone, including corporations like Google, accountable. I am proud of this historic settlement that proves no entity, not even big tech companies, is above the law,” said Arizona Attorney General. Mark Brnovich.

Google spokesperson, José Castañeda said the case was based on outdated product policies that have long since been updated. 

“We provide straightforward controls and auto delete options for location data, and are always working to minimize the data we collect,” Castañeda stated. “We are pleased to have this matter resolved and will continue to focus our attention on providing useful products for our users.”

In a similar case concluded in August, Google was ordered to pay AUS$60-million (US$41.5-million) in penalties by Australia’s Federal court for misleading representations it made to consumers about the collection and use of their personal location data.

The case was brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and referred to location data gathered on Android phones between January 2017 and December 2018.

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.