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Canadian law firms come together to file class-action suit against Google - Including Google Services, Ads and Analytics over Privacy

Canadian law firms come together to file class-action suit against Google - Including Google Services, Ads and Analytics over Privacy

Lawyers in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec have filed proposed class-action lawsuits on behalf of millions of Canadians against Google and its parent Alphabet Inc. in three provinces, in which the company is unlawfully charged with personal information without their consent. Has been charged with collecting and profiting from.

It is claimed that through Google services, Google ads and Google Analytics, the company transforms Canadian electronics into tracking devices, which it uses to create profiles on almost every Internet user in Canada; Even Google has no connection without their consent, ”said Louisiana Brasil, a partner in the Vancouver firm of Branch McMaster LLP, in a press release. "There is no reason Canadians should say that what we say is extensive monitoring of their daily online activities, especially because Canada has laws specifically to protect from such actions."

The claim also alleges that Google violates consumer protection and competition laws by misrepresenting its privacy and data practices.

In an interview today, Brasil stated that "one of the key issues is whether online users are exposed to personal information that is accurate and sufficient."

Even if the user has no connection with Google - for example, do not use the Chrome browser or Gmail - information on their device can be collected by a site that uses Google Analytics or Google Advertising, she said. “So my computer is being asked to do something with someone with whom I have no connection, who is without my knowledge and without any chance of consent. This is such a clear case for me. It flies in the face of the argument that there is always agreement and people always know what is being provided. I am convinced that most people are falsifying the idea that this is going on. "

"Then why is it that I should provide that information? Helping Google is not my job… they say it helps serve you better. This is not a better service for me. It is to find out what I do and try to figure out what to buy and what to suggest to me. Its (my) information is to try and extract monetary values. "

The grounds of the three suits are similar, although they refer to alleged violations of their respective provincial laws as well as federal privacy law. It is not clear whether they will merge into a suit or proceed separately. "Despite some differences to local practices and legislation, particularly in Quebec, attorneys filing claims in Quebec, Ontario and BC are working together and on a co-ordinated lawsuit to prosecute Canadian claims Are part of an association. Aadhaar, "Brasil said." As to how the action will proceed, each action is subject to case-management by independent judges, so ultimately it is subject to the discretion of the courts, but if all parties cooperate Efficiency can be achieved. "
IT World Canada has asked for comment from Alphabet.

The claim statement states that Google does not require operators of Google ads or web sites running Google Analytics to obtain consent from people whose personal information is collected by Google when users visit a site, or Tell users that their personal information has been collected.

"By Google's high-level conduct and its disregard for the quasi-constitutional privacy rights of class members, the plaintiff asks this court to pay exemplary and punitive damages against Google, which is reasonable for this test Supposedly, "the description of the claim says partially.

In addition, it alleges that the complainants have suffered "among other things, damage to their pride, self-esteem and reputation".

“Google is telling its users they have a choice about how Google uses their information, but we don't,” Reidar Mogerman, a partner at Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman LLP in Vancouver and one of the companies involved in the claim, said in a press release, “Google is telling its users that they have a choice about how Google uses their information, but we don't.” We believe users have a choice about whether they are Google will collect their information in the first place or not, and the claim claims that this is misleading and a direct violation of consumer protection law.

Jonathan Foreman, a partner at Forman & Co. in London, Ontario, said in a statement that "Internet-based companies doing business in Canada have to comply with Canadian privacy, competition and consumer protection laws." The purpose of this case is to rein in what we say because it is a collection of personal information and to ensure that Canadians' privacy rights are protected. "

The claim seeks compensation for privacy infringement, infringement, consumer protection violations, and other grounds for action. It is also seeking an order that would prevent Google from continuing these practices.

A judge must approve the class action suit before proceeding. The date of the hearing has not yet been decided. This claim is made on behalf of residents of Canada who have used Google services or visited websites that contain Google ads or Google Analytics.

The statement to the press says the measure includes data collected by Google's own services and through Google Ads and Google Analytics, which are installed on more than half of the global websites. It claims Google infringes on users' devices by sending a code to their computers, tablets, or smartphones when they visit any of the thousands of websites or services. This code allegedly forces users 'computers or smartphones to secretly send users' personal information to Google, including details such as name, gender, location, terms they typed into Google, their IP address, the device they use, and the site they visit. This allegedly reveals sensitive personal details, such as marital and parental status, income bracket and sexual orientation.

Google uses this personal information to create profiles of almost all Internet users, it claims. It uses certain information to target advertising, the claim alleges, without users' knowledge or consent, violating Canadian laws that protect privacy and personal interests.

Google's privacy policy describes what information has been collected, why it has been collected, and how users can update, manage, export, and delete that information. For example, the claim says, Google's privacy page says, "We create powerful, easy-to-use privacy tools in your Google Account. They give you control over the privacy settings that are right for you, and we What type of data do we collect and use in our services. ”

However, the claim statement states, "Despite these representations, and no matter what settings a class member chooses, the settings do not prevent Google's collection and use of personal information for its own business purposes, from the class member's Creating a profile about., Or monetization of personal information. "

BC The action comes after a separate proposed class-action lawsuit filed in Quebec in July accuses Google of misrepresenting users that their information is shared when they browse the web using incognito mode There is so much control. It alleges that Google collects users' browsing data without consent, regardless of the chosen browsing mode. 

The Quebec action calls for Google's order to pay Google an amount equal to the value of the data collected to class members while the class members were using incognito mode, and $ 50 million in punitive damages.

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