A trio of plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit in New York against Google over the new policy, alleging it violates the company’s previous policies and the Federal Wiretap Act, the Stored Electronics Communications Act, and the Computer Fraud Abuse Act, Los Angeles Times reported late Wednesday evening.
The suit claims to represent all Google Accounts-holders and Google Android phone owners nationwide, and seeks over $5 million in damages as well as an injunction to stop Google from implementing the new policy.
Intriguingly, it also compares Google to Facebook, arguing that Facebook offers a “holistic view of each consumer,” that Google sought to attain, along with corresponding ad revenue. (Facebook is the largest advertiser in the U.S. and Google is currently second.) Google’s competition with Facebook as a primary reason for why the plaintiffs believe Google proceeded to allegedly violate their privacy:
The complaint also accuses Google of violating its settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over privacy violations related to its failed social networking effort Google Buzz, which the FTC is also reportedly looking into.
The plaintiffs in that case are represented by Grant & Eisenhofer, Bloomberg reported.
Meanwhile, another group of two plaintiffs in California filed a separate class action suit against Google for much the same reasons, as well as two California-specific laws: The Right of Publicity Statute, which protects someone from using another person’s identity for commercial gain without consent, and the Unfair Competition Law, which states that consumers must be given fair and accurate representation of their business relationships with a company. The California suit also over $5 million in damages from Google for the violations.
“I think we didn’t present this policy very well,” Cerf told the website. “We didn’t change the amount of data we employ, we didn’t change the way we use it. We don’t sell any of this information, it’s not our business model.”
Google has consistently said it was instituting the new “one size fits all” policy to offer users increased simplicity and transparency, as well as new types of experiences, such as the ability to combine live-traffic data from Google Maps and appointment data from Google Calendar to tell people when they are running late for an appointment, for example.