If you are used to googling at the slightest question, you may receive a check from the web giant. The Superior Court authorized a class action against Google.
Justice Donald Bisson granted last month the motion presented by Option consommateurs in June 2020 with the help of the legal firm Belleau Lapointe. The association, which defends the rights of consumers, accuses the technology company of collecting information on Internet users without their consent. It would collect data even if users don’t have a Google account or choose private browsing or ‘Do Not Track’. It would do the same on websites that use its Google Analytics or Google Ad Manager tools.
All people who have lived in Quebec since June 2017 and who have surfed on Google’s platforms or on a site that uses its tools are members of the class action. Option consommateurs claims that these people be compensated “according to the value of the information collected by ⦋Google⦌” and asks for the sum of 50 million dollars in punitive damages. The amount of compensation, if any, will be determined at the end of the trial.
The giant Google also mentions that it collects information, even if users indicate a refusal. “Most websites and web services (including those owned by Google) do not change their behavior when they receive a ‘Do Not Track’ request,” says the Google Chrome Help Center. According to the evidence submitted, the judge finds that the Web giant is also ignoring the option of browsing in private mode.
Personal information or not?
What information does Google get about its users? The language they speak, their interests, where they live, the type of electronic devices they own, their web provider, their phone number, etc.
To be notified of the next steps in this legal action, you can register on the website of the legal firm Belleau Lapointe or subscribe to the Option consommateurs newsletter.
To better understand this type of process, read our article on how class actions work.
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