Google Faces Oregon Class Action Lawsuit Over Rogue Data Collection

After acknowledging it has been snooping and collecting private data through its Street View cars, it has been brought to our attention that Google is now facing a class action lawsuit in Washington state and Oregon for privacy violation.

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The plaintiffs, Vicki Van Valin and Neil Mertz, claim that their privacy was violated and they request a preliminary and permanent injunction for such data collected by Google to not be destroyed as it represents critical evidence, TechEye reported.

According to TechEye, the filing also asks for punitive damages.

Conundrum: destroy or keep the data?
Google has so far pledged to destroy the data as it already did in Ireland but in the case of the plaintiffs, such action would qualify as an obstruction of justice.

According to our source, "at least 10 statutes indicate that Google may have been breaking the law," meaning that an FTC or DOJ investigation could be in the works.

Double privacy bill
In the writ Google received for the investigation, it is alledged that "on information and belief, hundreds if not thousands of Google employees throughout the United States and the world have access to data maintained on Google's servers," which raises another major privacy issue.

It's alleged that Google's conduct breaches 18 USC §2511, under which plaintiffs and class members are entitled to $100 a day for each day their data was breached, or $10,000 per violation per plaintiff.

About the author

Liva Judic joined Search Engine Watch and ClickZ in May 2010 as a news blogger. She has lived and worked across the globe in Madagascar, Switzerland, London, NYC, Asia and is now based in between New York and Berlin.

Her background is in government relations and financial media where she started out as a journalist at Bloomberg and became senior editor at AFX news (now part of ThomsonReuters). Prior to forming her own consultancy Judic was head of international PR for a head of state.

Judic focuses on facilitating brand and marketing transitioning for European startups moving to the US. She has been named one of the Top 50 Industry Influencers of 2014 by AGBeat