On July 1, 2021, Judge Freeman of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss filed by Google to end the class action lawsuit brought against it.  The lawsuit alleges that Google unlawfully and without consumers’ consent or knowledge, surreptitiously listens to users’ private conversations, and then utilizes the obtained audio for its own commercial purposes. 

Judge Freeman sustained plaintiffs’ claims for violation of state and federal privacy laws and California common law, including the federal Wiretap Act, California Invasion of Privacy Act § 632, intrusion upon seclusion, and invasion of privacy in violation of the California Constitution, California Unfair Competition Law and common law Breach of Contract.  The Court concluded that plaintiffs sufficiently pled that they had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the oral communications that were recorded without their consent.  Additionally, the Court declined Google’s argument that its recording practices were adequately disclosed in Google’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, finding that Google’s disclosures were “too vague” and not specific enough to establish consent to use the audio recordings for any purposes. 

Lowey Dannenberg commenced this litigation in July 2019.  Since then, the case has been consolidated with two other separately filed cases, alleging substantially the same facts.  The case is In Re Google Assistant Privacy Litigation, No. 5:19-cv-04286-BLF (N.D. Cal.).

The Court’s opinion can be downloaded here:

Please contact or Christian Levis (clevis@lowey.com) or Andrea Farah (afarah@lowey.com) with any questions about the case.