SAN FRANCISCO, April 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The following release was issued by Nassiri & Jung LLP.
This Press Release relates to a proposed Settlement of consolidated class action lawsuits (the "Lawsuit") filed against Google Inc. relating to the inclusion of Google search queries in referrer headers (also called "referrer headers") or during the provision of certain Google services. If you used Google Search at any time after October 26, 2006, you may be a "Class Member" in this Lawsuit.
What is the Status of the case?
The Court has preliminarily approved the Settlement and will hold a hearing to determine whether to give final approval to the Settlement during a Fairness Hearing. The purpose of the Fairness Hearing is for the Court to determine wither the Settlement should be approved as fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Class to consider the award of attorneys' fees and expenses to Class Counsel and to consider the request for a service awards to the Class Representatives. The settlement may not be approved by the court, in which case, people will not be giving up rights and the case would proceed in the trial or appellate court.
What is the Class Action About?
Google Search allows users to find certain information on the Internet by using words, numbers and phrases (the "search query") in the search box at www.google.com.
The Plaintiffs who filed this case allege that Google broke privacy promises to Google users by intentionally and systematically embedding individual search queries, and search query components of user Web Histories, in referrer headers sent to third parties without user consent or through its Analytics service. "Referrer headers" are a standard Internet feature that web servers, web browsers, and other web-enabled tools use to communicate with each other. A referrer header is often generated when an Internet user requests a web page from a web server. The referrer header, under most circumstances, identifies the page containing the link the user clicked on to request the web page — that is, the page that "referred" the user to that web page. "Web History" is a Google service that stores a particular user's Google search query information. The Plaintiffs presently bring claims against Google for (i) violations of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2510 et seq.; (ii) breach of contract, (iii) breach of contract implied in law, (iv) breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing; (v) unjust enrichment; and (vi) declaratory judgment and corresponding injunctive relief. Google denies the accuracy of the Plaintiffs' allegations, denies that it broke any privacy promises, and denies that it violated any law or caused any harm as alleged in the Lawsuit. To obtain more information about this case and Settlement, please visit www.googlesearchsettlement.com.
For more information about referrer headers and/or how Google handles your search queries visit Google's FAQ, Key Terms and About Google Web History webpages, currently available at https://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/privacy/key-terms/, https://www.google.com/policies/privacy/faq and https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/54068?hl=en respectively.
Why is this a class action, and how do I know if I am part of the Settlement?
In a class action, one or more people called "class representatives" (in this case, Paloma Gaos, Anthony Italiano and Gabriel Priyev) sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. All of these people who may have similar claims form a "Class" and are "Class Members." The Settlement resolves the issues for all Class Members, except those who exclude themselves from the Class (see www.googlesearchsettlement.com for more information about how to exclude yourself from the Class). To know if you will be affected by this Settlement, you first have to determine if you are a Class Member. The Court decided that the Class includes all users of Google Search in the United States from October 26, 2006 through April 25, 2014. The Class also includes anyone who could bring any of the claims in the Lawsuit on behalf of these users of Google Search, such as representatives, heirs, administrators, and assigns. If you are not sure whether you are in the Class, or have any other questions about the Settlement, visit www.googlesearchsettlement.com, or write with questions to: Info@GoogleSearchSettlement.com
Google Referrer Header Privacy Litigation
PO BOX 2002
Chanhassen, MN 55317-2002
Your Rights and Options
You may do nothing: Accept the terms of this Settlement and thereby give up your rights to sue Google about the same legal claims as are made in this case.
You may exclude yourself: Get out of this class action. This is the only option that allows you to bring your own, or be part of any other, lawsuit against Google about the legal claims resolved in this Settlement. You will give up your chance to recover money or other benefits in this class action in exchange for preserving any right you may have to bring your own lawsuit. The deadline for excluding yourself is June 24, 2014.
You may object to the settlement and ask to speak in Court: Write to the Court about why you think the Settlement should not be approved. The Deadline for Objecting is Friday, August 8, 2014.
To Remain a Class Member
To remain in the class you do not need to do anything.
To Exclude Yourself from the Class
Class Members who do not want to be part of the Settlement must complete a form requesting to be excluded. The form and instructions for its submission are available at www.googlesearchsettlement.com, or from the Class Administrator. Requests for exclusion must be made on an individual basis and submitted no later than June 24, 2014.
To Object to the Settlement
You can object to the Settlement if you do not like any part of it. You must give the reasons why you think the Court should not approve the Settlement. To object, you must deliver to the Class Administrator, Class Counsel and Google's counsel, and file with the Court, a written statement of your objection(s). The written statement must include (i) your full name, address, telephone number and signature; (ii) the name of the Lawsuit; (iii) the specific reasons why you object to the Settlement; (iv) copies of any evidence and legal authority you would like the Court to consider; (v) information demonstrating that you are a Class Member; and (vi) whether you or your attorney will appear at the fairness hearing. If you or your attorney intends to make an appearance at the Fairness Hearing and you have not so indicated in your objection, you must also deliver a Notice of Intention to Appear no later than August 8, 2014.
You must send a copy of your objection by First-Class mail to four different places, postmarked no later than August 8, 2014. These four places are:
The Court at U.S. District Court Clerk's Office 280 S 1st Street San Jose, California 95113.
To Class Counsel at Kassra Nassiri, Nassiri & Jung LLP 47 Kearny Street, Suite 700 San Francisco, California 94108.
To Defense Counsel at Edward D. Johnson, Mayer Brown LLP Two Palo Alto Square, Suite 300 3000 El Camino Real Palo Alto, California 94306-2112.
And to the Claims Administrator at Google Referrer Header Privacy Litigation, Settlement Administrator P.O. Box 2002 Chanhassen, Minnesota 55317-2002.
If you fail to comply with these requirements, or fail to submit your objection before the deadline, you will be deemed to have waived all objections and will not be entitled to speak at the fairness hearing.
Please view the Class Notice, which is available from the settlement website, www.googlesearchsettlement.com, to see the written instructions for filing an objection.
Questions? Call 1-855-332-3405
Or visit www.googlesearchsettlement.com
SOURCE Nassiri & Jung LLP