Google Faces Class Claim Over Alleged Gmail Snooping

Gmail users have sued Alphabet Inc.’s Google for allegedly allowing third parties to access emails without user consent, in violation of California consumer protection laws.

Plaintiffs James and Michael Coyne, who seek to represent a proposed class, sued Google July 5 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging the tech company allowed access to user Gmail accounts without consent. The Coynes claimed that third-party snooping led to “sustained damages” when sensitive personal information allegedly was exposed without their permission.

The Coynes brought claims under the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Computer Data Access and Fraud Act, Unfair Competition Law, and state tort claims. The plaintiffs also brought claims under a privacy provision in California’s state Constitution.

The Coynes seek monetary damages in addition to an order stopping Google from allowing third parties to access customer emails.

Cutter Law PC represents James and Michael Coyne. Counsel for Google couldn’t be immediately identified.

Google didn’t immediately respond to Bloomberg Law’s email request for comment.

The case is Coyne v. Google LLC, N.D. Cal., No. 18-cv-04042, complaint filed 7/5/18.

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel R. Stoller in Washington at dstoller@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Mark at dmark@bloomberglaw.com