Google Can't Shake App Privacy Suit

Back in March of 2012, Google made international headlines with its controversial decision to revise its privacy policy in a way that allowed it to consolidate information about users. Ever since, a group of consumers have been trying to sue the company for allegedly violating  users' privacy.

This week, a federal judge ruled that the consumers could proceed with a lawsuit -- but not based on their original claims. Instead, U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal in San Jose, Calif. said that users could continue with allegations that Google wrongly transfers users' names and contact information to app developers. 

Those allegations -- which weren't part of the original controversy surrounding Google's privacy policy -- first surfaced last year, when it emerged that Google provided developers with a host of details about consumers who purchased apps, including people's contact information. Many observers were surprised to learn that Google did so, especially because Apple's iTunes platform doesn't share purchasers' data. But Google said at the time that the Google Wallet privacy policy always allowed it to share information necessary to process transactions.

Grewal ruled that users could move forward based on their allegations that Google “left a privacy policy in place which led consumers to believe that access to their data would be limited to certain groups ... even though it knew that it planned to distribute the data outside of those groups.”

Grewal also ruled that the consumers alleged they were harmed based on a “loss of battery power and other system resources.”

The judge dismissed other allegations -- including the original claims that Google violated users' privacy by combining data across a variety of platforms, including YouTube and Android.

But his decision leaves enough of the case alive that the consumers are now in a position to either reach a settlement or proceed with the litigation. “Like Rocky rising from Apollo’s uppercut in the 14th round, Plaintiffs’ complaint has sustained much damage but just manages to stand,” Grewal said.

2 comments about "Google Can't Shake App Privacy Suit".
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  1. Parvathi G from Hyperlink InfoSystem, July 23, 2014 at 7:19 a.m.

    It is true that Google has been accused time and again about it's apparent violations of users' private data, one needs to see that it has tried to make good by standing against monopolizing the internet by political parties, which is a good thing.

  2. Steve Plunkett from Cool Websites Organization, July 23, 2014 at 6:12 p.m.

    We try to serve you relevant ads based on your online browsing behavior and YouTube watch history. You can manage your ads settings from your Google Ads Settings. From there, you can do the following:
    view or manage your demographics and interest categories
    block certain advertisers
    opt out of interest-based ads

    This is from youtube..

    Also, lookup "not provided" - those https segments of data are not shared across Google Properties..

    Re Google Apps..

    The Wallet Terms of Service and Privacy Notice also apply whenever you want to purchase a Product using Google Wallet. Please ensure that you read those terms carefully before making any purchase. Some purchases on Google Play will require you to transact with the product provider directly. In these cases, to process your transaction and maintain your account, we may share your personal information with the product provider, as permitted under the Wallet Privacy Notice.

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