Google compelled to pay $13 million to internet privacy advocacies over privacy infringement
A U.S. appeals court upheld Google's settlement of a long-running class action lawsuit over assertion that Google illegally collected personal data through Wi-Fi from an estimated 60 million people with its vehicle for Street View program.
Google was accused of having inadvertently collected the data while driving its vehicles through neighborhoods from 2008 to 2010 to collect photos for Street View. In June 2011, U.S. District Judge James Ware in San Francisco allowed plaintiffs in several private lawsuits to pursue federal Wiretap Act claims against Google.
Google was condemned to pay $13 million to internet privacy advocacy groups instead of 60 million private plaintiffs. In the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Google appealed to this refund but the appeal court rejected Google arguments.
Two class members and several state attorneys objected to this verdict, arguing that, the funds should be distributed to class members instead. But Judge Bridget Bade claimed that “Identifying and paying all of the class members directly wasn't feasible, the payments to advocacy groups combined with Google's promises to take actions on data protection were a fair alternative”.