SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --
News provided by: SPECTOR ROSEMAN & KODROFF, PC, COHEN MILSTEIN SELLERS & TOLL PLLC, AND LIEFF CABRASER HEIMANN & BERNSTEIN, LLP.
A class action Settlement has been proposed in litigation against Google LLC ("Google") relating to allegations that Google "Street View" vehicles unlawfully captured electronic communications sent or received over wireless network connections ("Wi-Fi connections"). If you used an unencrypted wireless network from which Google's Street View vehicles obtained Payload Data (defined below) in the United States between January 1, 2007, and May 15, 2010, you are a Settlement Class Member.
"Payload Data" means data frames under the 802.11 Wireless Standard, consisting of a body that may contain the content of communications being transmitted over the network. Payload Data does not include data frames consisting of a header, nor does it include data frames containing solely network identifying information, such as a MAC Address or SSID. More information about the litigation, including a copy of the Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint and a copy of the Settlement Agreement, are available on the Settlement Website, www.streetviewsettlement.com.
Under the Settlement, Google has agreed to destroy the Payload Data that Street View vehicles acquired in the United States between January 1, 2007, and May 15, 2010. Google has also agreed not to collect and store Payload Data via Street View vehicles for use in any product or service, except with notice and consent. In addition to these and other commitments described in the detailed Class Notice available at www.streetviewsettlement.com, Google has agreed to pay $13 million into a Settlement Fund. Google denies any wrongdoing, and no court or other entity has made any determination that any law has been violated.
If the Settlement is approved, the money in the Settlement Fund will be distributed to non-profit organizations that have a track record of addressing consumer concerns regarding the privacy of their electronic communications, as well as to pay attorneys' fees and expenses and service awards for named plaintiffs as awarded by the Court, and the costs of giving notice of the Settlement to Class Members. The non-profit organizations that will receive funds from the Settlement are called "Cy Pres Recipients." The Plaintiffs have recommended the following organizations to the Court to be Cy Pres Recipients: American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, Inc., Center for Digital Democracy, The Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law, Consumer Reports, Inc., Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Internet Policy Research Initiative, Public Knowledge, Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, and World Privacy Forum. The Electronic Privacy Information Center has also filed an application for funding. The Court will select the Cy Pres Recipients and will decide how much money each will receive from the Settlement Fund. As a condition of receiving this money, each Cy Pres Recipient must commit to use the funds to promote the protection of Internet privacy. A copy of the proposal from each potential Cy Pres Recipient describing how it would use money from the Settlement is available on the Settlement Website, at www.streetviewsettlement.com.
Class Counsel will ask the Court to award no more than $3.25 million in attorneys' fees (25% of the Settlement Fund), up to $750,000 to reimburse Class Counsel for the expenses incurred to litigate and resolve this action, and up to $158,000 to reimburse the Court-appointed Notice Administrator, A.B. Data, Ltd., for the costs of administering the Settlement. Class Counsel will also ask the Court to approve service awards of between $500 and $5,000 to each of the named Plaintiffs for their service to the Settlement Class. Class Counsel's application for fees, expenses, and service awards will be available on the Settlement Website, www.streetviewsettlement.com, after November 25, 2019.
The Court will decide whether to approve the proposed Settlement and Class Counsel's application for fees, expenses, and Plaintiff service awards, at a hearing scheduled for February 28, 2020, in San Francisco, California. If approved, the Settlement will resolve the litigation entitled In re Google Inc. Street View Electronic Communications Litigation, Case No. 10-md-02184, which is pending before Judge Charles R. Breyer in the Northern District of California. You may, but are not required to, attend the Final Approval Hearing. If you wish to speak at the Final Approval Hearing, you must state your intention to do so in your written objection or comment. The requirements for submitting an objection, which must be postmarked no later than January 20, 2020, are available in the detailed Class Notice. You may also exclude yourself from the Settlement, on or before January 20, 2020, by following the instructions for excluding yourself in the detailed Class Notice. If the Settlement becomes final, excluding yourself is the only option that allows you to retain your rights to sue for claims relating to unencrypted Wi-Fi communications acquired by Street View Vehicles in the United States between January 1, 2007, and May 15, 2010.
More information about the litigation, the Settlement, the Final Approval Hearing, and the requirements for objecting to the Settlement, or excluding yourself, is available at www.streetviewsettlement.com.
PLEASE DO NOT TELEPHONE THE COURT OR THE COURT CLERK'S OFFICE TO INQUIRE ABOUT THIS SETTLEMENT.