Google Chrome Incognito Mode Users Lose Appeal to Pursue $5 Billion in Damages Over Data Collection

Shoppers suing Alphabet Inc’s Google LLC over its knowledge assortment practices have misplaced their early attraction to pursue cash damages as a category motion looking for billions of {dollars}. Plaintiffs sued Google in 2020, claiming that Google continued to gather knowledge from customers regardless of their use of personal shopping in Chrome’s “Incognito” mode. The lawsuit seeks at the very least $5 billion in damages.

The ninth U.S. Circuit Court docket of Appeals in San Francisco on Wednesday rejected the plaintiffs’ bid to attraction a decrease court docket choice final yr that denied class-action standing for cash damages claims towards Google.

The plaintiffs had sought an appeals court docket listening to on the difficulty mid-case and may nonetheless search to revive their cash damages claims when there’s a ultimate judgment. A jury trial is ready for November.

The category-action standing would imply the plaintiffs might pursue large-scale claims towards Google as a gaggle, versus submitting particular person claims for financial damages. The damages class would come with at the very least “tens of hundreds of thousands” of Google browser customers, court docket filings point out.

The plaintiffs, whose attorneys embody veteran litigator David Boies of Boies Schiller Flexner, had argued within the ninth Circuit that the decrease court docket ruling in December denying class certification on damages “sounds the ‘demise knell’ for a lot of customers’ damages claims who lack the means to individually litigate this case.”

Google’s attorneys at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan had requested the ninth Circuit to not enable the speedy attraction and as a substitute wait to listen to from the events after a ultimate order.

Google has denied that it deceived anybody over non-public shopping, saying its Chrome browser customers consented to the corporate’s knowledge assortment.

A spokesperson for Google declined to touch upon Wednesday’s choice.

Though the choice means the plaintiffs can not search financial damages as a category, the decrease court docket had licensed two different courses that may search different aid from Google, together with curbing sure knowledge assortment practices.

Boies and one other plaintiffs’ lawyer didn’t instantly reply to a message on Thursday looking for remark.

The case is Brown et al v. Google LLC, ninth U.S. Circuit Court docket of Appeals, No. 22-80147.

For plaintiffs: David Boies and Mark Mao of Boies Schiller Flexner; Invoice Carmody of Susman Godfrey; and John Yanchunis of Morgan & Morgan

For defendant: Andrew Schapiro, Diane Doolittle and Stephen Broome of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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