Google is in hot water after the company was denied an attempt to dismiss a privacy that surrounds the act of offering user data to advertisers for a fee and without the user permission. This move has opened Google to a class action lawsuit that could see the company lose millions if found guilty.
U.S. District Judge Paul Grewal in San Jose, California, was close to siding with Google after the complaints of plaintiffs had sustained substantial damage, but just barely managed to convince him that he needs to go down this route.
"Like Rocky rising from Apollo's uppercut in the 14th round, plaintiffs' complaint has sustained much damage but just manages to stand," said Grewal in a 28-page decision.
According to users, Google made the change without their consent and without a chance to option out if they feel the need to do so. They view such moves as a way to better compete in the advertisement market with competitors such as Facebook, Twitter and several other social media platforms "where all of a consumer's personal information is available in one site."
The plaintiffs later claimed that such a move threatened their privacy and could make it easier for criminals to steal their identity, due to exposing names, email addresses and geographic locations.
Can Google win?
Since District Judge Paul Grewal said he was barely convinced by plaintiffs, Google's job shouldn't be too difficult. The plaintiffs, on the other hand, would have to work extra hard to convince a judge and jury to find Google guilty for selling user data to advertisers.