Big brother. It's a term thrown around in conversation for a long time. But as we entered the world of the internet and social media, along with cameras placed everywhere you look, it's taken on a new meaning.

There are privacy rules set or allowed to be set for many things online to protect you, but are they really working the way they should? We've heard or experienced times when our privacy has been compromised. I lost track of the free credit reports I've been granted after private information had been compromised.

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NY Joins Coalition on Data Tracking

Here's one you may not have been aware of. New York State Attorney General Letitia James joined a coalition of 40 other state attorney generals concerning Google misleading users about its location data tracking, resulting in securing $391.5 million from the company.

Google, which many of us use on a daily basis, was accused of failing to notify users that location-tracking services were automatically turned on for web and app activity. Those with Google accounts who accessed Google Maps, Search, Chrome, and other Google apps were not aware of their location being tracked.

Big tech companies should not collect consumers’ data without their awareness or consent. Google quietly tracked its users to turn a profit and today they are being held accountable. Every individual should be able to make their own decisions about their data and how it is being used. We will continue to hold companies that violate the law accountable and protect consumers from companies that put profits over people.  - NYS Attorney General Letitia James

The release from the New York State Attorney General's office states that as part of the agreement, Google will be required to be more transparent with consumers including:

  • Show additional information to users whenever they turn a location-related account setting “on” or “off”;
  • Make key information about location tracking unavoidable for users (i.e., not hidden); and
  • Give users detailed information about the types of location data Google collects and how it’s used at an enhanced “Location Technologies” webpage.

Also, the agreement states that Google’s use and storage of certain types of location information will be limited and that account controls need to be more user-friendly.

[via New York State Attorney General]

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