Google Facing Potential €10bn CCPA Class Action Suit

by | Aug 7, 2020

A California federal court legal action alleges that Google has been tracking smartphone users’ app activity without adequate authorization in breach of the California Consumer Privacy Act.

The legal action that was filed in the Northern District of California last Wednesday claims that Google leverage the capability of phones, along with the company’s Android operating system, to gather data on usage of non-Google apps. The class action was submitted on behalf of the owner of a Google-made Pixel phone on behalf of other consumers, alleging a violation of the California Consumer Privacy Act has taken place.

The complaint states that: “Google uses this information to obtain an unfair competitive advantage over its rivals.” it goes on to say that Google employees are monitoring Android user activity using the  “lockbox” program. The aim of this is to create competitor apps to popular social media sites like ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok.

This is the latest The lawsuit adds to scrutiny Google has been facing from regulators and legislators for allegedly infringing on user privacy while edging out competitors in areas such as search and maps.

The plaintiff, Robert McCoy, stated that Google asks for “consent” during the Android setup process, but says that users are “only vaguely told that Google will collect personal data ‘to offer a more personalized experience’,” adding: “Android smartphone users… relied upon this statement when setting up their Android smartphones thinking that [they] would become more ‘personalized’ when in fact Google actually secretly pilfered their sensitive personal data without their consent.”

The suit also states that it is never”disclosed that Google actually monitors, collects, and uses sensitive personal data when Android users use non-Google apps.”

The lead plaintiff’s legal representatives, seeking to certify a class of millions of users, that seeks $5,000-a-head per breach. With a potential class in the “millions”, that’s at least $10bn.

Google have yet to comment on this potential class action but, on previous occasions, has claimed that it gather the data from users who agree to share their “usage and diagnostics” information with the group.

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Patrick Kennedy

Patrick Kennedy is a highly accomplished journalist and editor with nearly two decades of experience in the field. With expertise in writing and editing content, Patrick has made significant contributions to various publications and organizations. Over the course of his career, Patrick has successfully managed teams of writers, overseeing the production of high-quality content and ensuring its adherence to professional standards. His exceptional leadership skills, combined with his deep understanding of journalistic principles, have allowed him to create cohesive and engaging narratives that resonate with readers. A notable area of specialization for Patrick lies in compliance, particularly in relation to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). He has authored numerous articles delving into the complexities of compliance and its implications for various industries. Patrick's comprehensive understanding of HIPAA regulations has positioned him as a go-to expert, sought after for his insights and expertise in this field. Patrick's bachelors degree is from the University of Limerick and his master's degree in journalism is from Dublin City University. You can contact Patrick through his LinkedIn profile:

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