Chrome browser users suing Google over data collection practices have lost their appeal and lost the ability to recover billions of dollars in a class action lawsuit from the defendant.
The lawsuit was originally filed in 2020 — unhappy that the company continued to collect user data even as they launched private browsing in incognito mode, Google Chrome users are seeking at least $5 billion in damages, according to The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco denied a motion to grant the lawsuit status so that they could seek damages at all, a right they had been denied by the lower court. After the final decision, the plaintiffs can appeal the decision with a jury trial scheduled for November.
Class action status means that plaintiffs can bring a comprehensive claim against the defendant without initiating an individual proceeding; Millions of Google browser users who are dissatisfied with the working of incognito mode can act as plaintiffs. The company denies having misled users about its private browsing mode features – they allegedly consented to the data collection.
The appeals court’s ruling means the plaintiffs cannot seek monetary damages but reserve the right to seek other remedies, including Google’s restrictions on certain data collection methods.