Google Opposes Amendment of Complaint in Online Tracking Suit

In an ongoing data privacy case, Google LLC has responded to the plaintiffs’ motion to amend their complaint. Google believes this motion should be rejected with prejudice, arguing the plaintiffs are fishing for charges to bring against them.

As previously covered in Law Street, Anibal Rodriguez, Sal Cataldo, Julian Santiago, and Susan Lynn Harvey are bringing a class action suit against Google for violating their privacy. After numerous amendments and dismissals, the core of the case centers around allegations that Google benefits from the collection of user data despite the fact that users turned off Google’s “Web & App Activity” control (WAA).

Following a lengthy discovery period, the plaintiffs filed a motion to amend their complaint for the fourth time, alleging that discovery yielded additional facts that their current complaint does not cover. Google disagrees. 

The motion to amend seeks to modify the existing classes and add new ones. As to alterations to the two existing classes, Google opposes only the specific phrasing. These two classes consist of users whose data was sold to third parties even when WAA was turned off. Google claimed that phrasing the plaintiffs used for these two classes broadens them too much beyond the original software at issue in the case, Firebase SDK and AdMob SDKs.

As to the new classes concerning Google Search proposed in the motion, Google argues that they should be rejected outright. Google argues that they have already, in good faith, conducted extensive disclosure, and the additional disclosure proposed in the plaintiffs’ motion would unduly burden them. The note that this motion is the plaintiffs’ fourth attempt to amend their complaint and that this twenty-fifth hour motion is merely an attempt to drag out this process further and fish for more allegations.

They further allege that the facts raised regarding Google Search are not new, and that the plaintiffs knew or should have known them at the outset of the case. Google cites prior cases in which judges have ruled against adding allegations at such a late date. In sum, they feel the plaintiffs are fishing.

The case is proceeding in the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs are represented by Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, Morgan & Morgan P.A., and Susman Godfrey L.L.P and Google by Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.