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Sean D. Reyes
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AG Reyes Joins Google Search Privacy Brief

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined a bipartisan amicus brief, led by the State of Texas, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Calhoun v Google. The case involves a question of privacy rights over syncing Chrome and Google accounts.

The plaintiffs in the case allege that Google has been collecting and profiting off their personal information collected from Chrome – even when they have not given consent and have reasonably assumed that the Chrome privacy agreement shielded their privacy. The District Court granted Google’s summary judgment motion, leading to the appeal to the Ninth Circuit.

In their brief, the attorneys general write that “the Chrome Privacy Notice purported to allow users to ‘learn how to control the information that’s collected, stored, and shared when [they] use the Google Chrome browser.’ The notice stated, ‘You don’t need to provide any personal information to use Chrome, but Chrome has different modes you can use to change or improve your browsing experience.’ It further explained, ‘The personal information that Chrome stores won’t be sent to Google unless you choose to store that data in your Google Account by turning on sync….’ And although the notice indicated that synced personal information was subject to the more general Privacy Policy, it assured users, ‘Sync is only enabled if you choose.’”

Earlier this month, General Reyes and a bipartisan group of 52 other attorneys general announced a $700 million settlement with Google in their lawsuit challenging Google’s anticompetitive conduct with the Google Play Store. The settlement follows the states’ 2021 lawsuit, where the attorneys general alleged that Google had unlawfully monopolized Android app distribution and in-app payment processing. Other cases against Google are also progressing through various courts.

Joining Utah and Texas on this brief were the States of Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Hawai’i, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Virginia.

Read the brief here.