Google’s Latest Scraping Push Leads To Data Privacy Lawsuit

( – A class action lawsuit against Google was filed in a San Francisco federal court last Tuesday alleging that the company is misusing personal information and copyrighted material to train its artificial intelligence systems, Reuters reported.

The lawsuit, filed by eight individuals on behalf of millions of internet users and copyright holders, alleges that Google’s unauthorized data scraping of websites violates privacy and property rights.

In a statement last week, attorney Ryan Clarkson, who is representing the plaintiffs, said that the tech company “does not own the internet,” nor does it own the “creative works,” “expressions of our personhood,” or anything else that is shared online.

Clarkson’s law firm also filed a similar complaint against Microsoft’s OpenAI in June.

In both cases, the complaint asks that the plaintiffs remain anonymous due to reports of threats received by individuals who have filed similar lawsuits.

Halimah DeLaine Prado, general counsel for Google, said that the tech company has made it clear that it only uses data from public sources to train its artificial intelligence models. DeLaine Prado said in a statement that US law allows the use of public information “to create new beneficial uses” and the company looks forward “to refuting these baseless claims.”

In the lawsuit, the eight anonymous plaintiffs, identified only by initials, allege that Google misused their content from social media and information shared on its platforms to train its AI chatbot Bard and its other generative artificial intelligence systems.

The lawsuit includes examples of the content the plaintiffs claim Google misused, including photos from online dating sites, TikTok videos, and Spotify playlists.

One plaintiff, described as a best-selling author and investigative reporter from Texas, claimed that Google copies the full text of her book to train the chatbot, Bard.

The lawsuit is asking the court to order Google to allow internet users to opt out of its “illicit data collection” and to either delete existing misused data or pay the owners “fair compensation.”

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