A proposed class action lawsuit has been filed in Vancouver against Google, its parent company and its subsidiaries, on behalf of Canadian residents whose personal information was collected, without consent, by Google. The action is part of a coordinated national effort, with additional filings by members of our counsel group in Toronto and Montreal.
The action involves data collected by Google’s own services and through Google Ads and Google Analytics, which are installed on more than half of global websites. The action alleges Google trespasses on users’ devices by sending code to their computers, tablets, or smartphones when they visit any of these thousands of sites or services. That code allegedly forces users’ computers or smartphones to send users’ personal information to Google, including details such as their name, gender, and location, the terms they’ve typed into Google, their IP address, the device they’re using, and the site they’re visiting. This allegedly reveals sensitive personal details, such as marital and parental status, income bracket, and sexual orientation.
A copy of the Notice of Civil Claim filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia is available here .
This action is brought on behalf of members of a proposed class consisting of all Canadian residents who used the Google services from at least 2008 to the present (excluding residents of Ontario and Quebec). If you fit into this criteria, you may be eligible to participate in this proposed class action if it is certified (i.e., after the court confirms that the case may proceed as a class action). There is currently no date for the certification hearing, and this will only occur after a case management judge is appointed to oversee the action.
The proposed class is represented by a team of law firms across Canada: Branch MacMaster LLP, Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman LLP, Arvay Finlay LLP in British Columbia, Foreman & Company in Ontario, and Belleau Lapointe in Quebec. The team also includes David Loukidelis QC Law Corporation and Greg McMullen Law.
Within Branch MacMaster LLP, the lawyers primarily responsible for this file are: Luciana P. Brasil and Trevor Siemens.
What Happens Next?
The first substantial step in a proposed class action is for the Court to consider whether the action can proceed as a class action, and define the class and the common issues to be determined on behalf of the class. This process is called “certification”. If the action is certified, all persons who fit the class definition will be automatically included in the class, but will have an opportunity to opt out (exclude themselves) from the proceeding. This process typically includes a notice effort.
At this time, potential class members do not need to take any action, and if the action is certified, membership in the class will be automatic subject to the right to exclude oneself. When action is required, there will be a court-approved notice process. We will, however, maintain a database of potential class members so we can provide direct notification of any required action. If you would like to be added to our database of known potential claimants, please contact us at the below address and specify that you would like to register for the Google Class Action:
Branch MacMaster LLP
Barristers & Solicitors
Suite 1410 – 777 Hornby Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1S4
Please note that registration with us does not mean you are eligible to participate in the action, or that you are in fact participating in the action. That determination is made by the Court in the certification process, after which point eligible class members will have an opportunity to exclude themselves from the action. However, registration ensures you receive direct notice of certification and of the opportunity to exercise your right to opt out or to continue to participate in the action, and any other necessary updates.
This website has been developed to provide general information to potential class members on proposed class actions. This website will be updated from time to time to provide potential class members with information as it becomes available.
The site is not designed to answer questions about your individual situation or entitlement. Do not rely upon the information provided on this website as legal advice in respect of your individual situation nor use it as a substitute for individual legal advice.
To the extent that we may ask you for further information, the information collected will assist our lawyers in prosecuting the class action and assessing what damages were suffered by the class as a whole. Providing the information requested does not make you the client of Branch MacMaster and does not officially make you a member of the class. As noted above, the Court will ultimately decide who will be included as a class member, and if you are included, you may have an opportunity to exclude yourself from the class.