Streaming Video Users Renew Privacy Battle With Google

Streaming video users from New York and Minnesota will ask a federal appellate court to revive a lawsuit alleging that Google violated state privacy laws by retaining data about streaming video rentals, according to court papers filed Thursday.

The video viewers' lawsuit was dismissed earlier this month by U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in the Northern District of California, who ruled that New York and Minnesota privacy laws don't allow individuals to sue companies for failing to delete records.

On Thursday, the video viewers initiated an appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. They have not yet made any substantive arguments to that court.

Rogers' ruling stemmed from a dispute dating to October of 2022, when Minneapolis resident Burke Minahan alleged in a class-action complaint that Google violated a state privacy law by maintaining a record of his video rental history. Minahan's suit was later joined by New York residents, who alleged the company was violating a New York.

Both states have privacy laws that prohibit video rental companies from disclosing people's video viewing history without consent, and that requires the companies to destroy personally identifiable information “as soon as practicable, but no later than one year from the date the information is no longer necessary.”

Google urged Rogers to dismiss the lawsuit at an early stage, arguing that the state laws allowed consumers to sue over disclosures, but not for failing to destroy data.

Rogers accepted that argument, noting that Apple had recently in a similar lawsuit brought by New York and Minnesota residents.

The users who sued Apple have also initiated an appeal to the 9th Circuit.

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