A federal judge ordered Google to pay a nearly $1 million fine for misconduct in a privacy lawsuit in California, rebuking the tech giant’s actions in a year-long case that has yet to go to trial.
An order from the US District Court for the Northern District of California describing wrongdoing is under seal, but lawyers for the plaintiffs accused Google of concealing data sources and evidence before filing the fee.
Judge Susan Van Keulen on Friday ordered Google to pay attorneys’ fees totaling more than $971,000 for Discovery misconduct.
The fine appears to be more of a slap on the wrist than the plaintiffs ultimately want the federal court to impose on Google.
The nearly million-dollar fine comes in a proposed class-action lawsuit seeking at least $5 billion by the tech giant for an alleged invasion of people’s privacy, including spying on people’s searches and browser history. When they used a privacy setting called “incognito” mode.
The court is set to review the plaintiffs’ attempt to certify a class in September — more than two years after the lawsuit against Google was first filed.
Google is also facing other lawsuits over alleged privacy breaches. Last month, another federal judge in the same court allowed a separate class-action privacy lawsuit to proceed.
Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers rejected Google’s attempt to quash charges of breach of contract, privacy invasion and the publication of personal information related to Google for allegedly selling data for use by advertisers.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the judge’s Friday penalty for misconduct.