Google sued for alleged privacy violations

Oct 26, 2010
A sign is posted outside of the Google headquarters January 2010 in Mountain View, California. Google is being targeted in a class action suit that alleges it violates the privacy of its users by sharing personal information and Internet search queries of its users with third parties.

Google is being targeted in a class action suit that alleges it violates the privacy of its users by sharing personal information and Internet search queries of its users with third parties.

"User search queries, which often contain highly-sensitive and personally identifiable information, are routinely transferred to marketers, data brokers, and sold and resold to countless other third parties," the complaint said.

"Not only does , whose company motto is 'Don't be evil,' promise in its privacy policy not to do this, but Google has publicly denounced this very practice in the past," the law firms behind the suit said in a statement.

The suit was filed in a US District Court in San Jose, California, on Monday on behalf of a woman named Paloma Gaos, a resident of the San Francisco area, and other users of Google's popular search engine.

It seeks monetary damages and an injunction against Google ordering it to stop sharing search results with third parties.

"Because of its dominance in the search business, Google, more than any other company, presents a great risk to citizen ," said Kassra Nassiri, one of the attorneys bringing the suit.

A Google spokesman told AFP the Mountain View, California-based company had not yet received a copy of the complaint and "won't be able to comment until we've had a chance to review it."

Google denies transmitting personally identifiable information about users to third parties and says it "anonymizes" the results of Web queries, removing all traces of personally identifiable information.

Explore further: Is it too late to protect privacy? Pessimism reigns over big data and the law

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