HomeTop StoriesGoogle fails to settle $5 billion consumer privacy lawsuit

Google fails to settle $5 billion consumer privacy lawsuit

By Jonathan Stamp

(Reuters) – A US judge rejected Google’s bid to dismiss a lawsuit alleging it violates the privacy of millions of people by secretly tracking their internet usage.

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said Monday she couldn’t find users agreeing to let Google collect information about what they viewed online because the Alphabet unit never explicitly told them it would.

David Boies, an attorney for the plaintiffs in the proposed $5 billion class action, called the decision “an important step in protecting the privacy interests of millions of Americans.”

The plaintiffs alleged that Google’s analytics, cookies and apps enabled the Mountain View, California-based company to track their activities even when they ran Google’s Chrome browser in “Incognito” mode and other browsers in “private” mode. browser mode.

They said this allowed Google to learn enough about their friends, hobbies, favorite foods, shopping habits and “potentially embarrassing things” they look up online, and “became an inexplicable treasure trove of information so detailed and comprehensive that George Orwell never thought of it.” could have dreamed. “

See also  As the summer breezes fade, sweltering Europeans give air conditioning a skeptical embrace

In a 36-page decision, Rogers said the plaintiffs showed there was a market for their data, citing a Google pilot program that paid users $3 a day for their browsing history.

The judge in Oakland, California, also pointed to several statements from Google, including in its privacy policy, which suggested limits on the information it could collect.

“On the whole, there is a questionable question as to whether these writings have created an enforceable promise that Google will not collect data from users while they browse privately,” Rogers wrote.

Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda said the company strongly contests the plaintiffs’ claims and will vigorously defend against them.

“Incognito mode in Chrome gives you the choice to browse the web without your activity being saved to your browser or device,” he said. “As we clearly state each time you open a new incognito tab, websites may collect information about your browsing activity during your session.”

See also  Niger coup leader warns regional and Western powers against military intervention

The lawsuit affects Google users since June 1, 2016. It is seeking damages of at least $5,000 per user for violations of federal wiretapping and California privacy laws.

The case is Brown et al v. Google LLC et al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 20-03664.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; edited by Jonathan Oatis)

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments