Sue a Cookie? Only When it is Google.

Google has been sued in the past and is being sued in the future.  The last time, within the USA, this time within the UK.  The accusation is for collecting personal data of millions within the UK and is the first of its kind of massive legal action.  Within the USA, this kind of case is yet to be tested.

People feel that their privacy is invaded when it harvests information by settings on iPhones, through use of cookies which collect information on devices to target advertising that will be received by users.  Apparently, this has been a trend in place since 2011 for persons that choose to implement Safari on their devices.

On what basis will people sue?  The abuse of trust is what people feel most strongly about.  A strong message from the people is being made in asserting that individuals values their rights above any abuse received due to technology giants in the Silicon Valley.  Abuse occurs when rights are violated by a breach of privacy.  Procedural and jurisdictional violations have been made by non-disclosure and this sets up a basis for grounds of the suit. Google plans to still contest on the grounds of no basis.  Some law firms have taken up a similar claim within the USA.  While no precedent has been set in the UK, there has been grounds in the USA.   Google agreed to pay a record $22.5m in a case brought by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on the same issue in 2012.

The record of large civil penalties to settle Federal Trade Commission charges alleged misrepresentation to users of Apple Inc.’s Safari Internet browser that it would not place tracking “cookies” or serve targeted ads to those users, violating an earlier privacy settlement between the company and the FTC. The FTC wanted to ensure that it lived up to the privacy it offered consumers.  The order that was made required Google to disable all tracking cookies and pay a civil penalty. 

Google still has not backed down from or changed its policies, despite knowledge of having prior lawsuits made.  They still stand to earn billions of dollars in revenue by the collection of such data. The Commission refers a complaint to the Department of Justice for filing when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest.  The complaint is not a finding or ruling that Google has actually violated the law.  The Federal Trade Commission works to prevent fraud, deceptive, and unfair business practices and assists consumers in spotting and recognizing these patterns.

Our Naperville, Illinois consumer rights private law firm handles individual and class action gift card, data breach, privacy rights, deceptive advertising, predatory lending, unfair debt collection, lemon law, and other consumer fraud cases that government agencies and public interest law firms such as the Illinois Attorney General may not pursue. Class action lawsuits our law firm has been involved in or spear-headed have led to substantial awards totaling over a million dollars to organizations including the National Association of Consumer Advocatesthe National Consumer Law Center, and local law school consumer programs. The Chicago consumer lawyers at Lubin Austermuehle are proud of our achievements in assisting national and local consumer rights organizations to obtain the funds needed to ensure that consumers are protected and informed of their rights. By standing up to consumer fraud and consumer rip-offs, and in the right case filing consumer protection lawsuits and class-actions you too can help ensure that other consumers’ rights are protected from consumer rip-offs and unscrupulous or dishonest practices.

Our Schaumburg and Rockford consumer attorneys provide assistance in data breach, privacy violation, fair debt collection, consumer fraud and consumer rights cases including in Illinois and throughout the country. You can click here to see a description of the some of the many individual and class-action consumer cases our Chicago consumer lawyers have handled. A video of our lawsuit which helped ensure more fan friendly security at Wrigley Field can be found here. You can contact one of our Wheaton and Carol Stream consumer protection, gift card and data breach attorneys who can assist in consumer fraud, consumer rip-off, lemon law, unfair debt collection, predatory lending, wage claims, unpaid overtime and other consumer, or consumer class action cases by filling out the contact form at the side of this blog or by clicking here.  You can also call our toll-free number at 630-333-0333.

Contact Information