25 Years Of Practice

Google Wiretapping Multidistrict Litigation

In 2010, Goldenberg Schneider joined Foley Bezek Behl & Curtis, LLP and Minnillo & Jenkins, Co. LPA in filing the first nationwide class action lawsuit against Google for violating the Federal Wiretap Act. The complaint alleges that Google routinely used Google Street View vehicles equipped with special hardware and software equipment known as “snoopers” and “sniffers” to illegally intercept and record electronic communications transmitted over wireless networks. After Goldenberg Schneider filed suit, numerous additional “tag-a-long” putative class actions were filed throughout the nation. All of the cases have been consolidated before Hon. James Ware in the Northern District of California, San Jose Division. Goldenberg Schneider is part of the lead counsel group in the consolidated proceedings.

In 2011, judge Ware denied Google’s motion to dismiss the federal wiretapping claim, ruling that the plaintiffs stated a viable claim and that none of the statutory exemptions apply to Google’s data collection actions. Google appealed the ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed the denial on September 10, 2013. On June 30, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by Google, thereby allowing the Ninth Circuit’s decision to stand and permitting the plaintiffs’ lawsuits to proceed.

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