Attorneys for Google have called for a would-be class action lawsuit linked to its COVID-19 tracking software to be thrown out on grounds that any alleged data breaches are both “theoretical” and “hypothetical”.
In 2020, Google and Apple developed a system for digital contact tracing using smartphones. At the time, both companies said that the Google-Apple Exposure Notification System (GAEN) was created because of a “shared sense of responsibility to help governments and our global community fight this pandemic through contact tracing.”
Fast-forward to April 2021, and lawyers acting on behalf of lead plaintiffs Jonathan Diaz and Lewis Bornmann filed a complaint with the Northern District Court of California alleging that, despite assurances, GAEN exposes information that is “personally identifiable”.
The company’s legal team retorted this week [PDF] that not only were the claims “hypothetical,” the plaintiffs themselves lacked standing to bring the suit.
In the original April complaint [PDF], the plaintiffs claimed: “Because Google’s implementation of GAEN allows this sensitive contact tracing data to be placed on a device’s system logs and provides dozens or even hundreds of third parties access to these system logs, Google has exposed GAEN participants’ private personal and medical information associated with contact tracing, including notifications to Android device users of their potential exposure to COVID-19.”
Those behind the action – a…