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Google faces a class action lawsuit in privacy policy dispute

A California tech giant is involved in a legal battle with their customers involving the use of personal information. Though the company attempted to stop the lawsuit, it has been given the go-ahead to proceed.

In September 2013, a customer who purchased an email app from the Google Play Store filed a class action contract dispute lawsuit against Google. The lawsuit claimed that the Mountain View-based search company was collecting personal information through another app, Google Wallet. Google was then making that personal information available to other app developers, such as the maker of the email app purchased by the plaintiff. The personal information collected included physical addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.

On April 1, Google lost its bid to dismiss the case. The federal judge overseeing the lawsuit says that Google, which developed the Android operating system, must answer to claims that it breached a contract and violated the state's consumer protection statutes. The judge said that the plaintiffs may show that Google went beyond the scope of their privacy policy and frustrated its purpose by allowing complete disclosure of this personal information. While the company stopped making this information available to third-party app developers in the same month the lawsuit was filed, the lawsuit will continue to address any violations prior to that date.

The issues involved in any business litigation can be complicated and difficult to understand without the guidance of an attorney. The attorney with experience in commercial litigation may be able to assess the potential infringement and bring the appropriate legal action against the infringer.

Source: Business Insider, "Google will face claims for giving away too much information about Google Wallet users," Jonathan Stempel, April 3, 2015

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