Underage Holdout Joins the Gmail Settlement Party


     SAN JOSE, Calif. (CN) – The final challenger from a massive class action over Gmail’s alleged data mining has settled – or will, once the young man turns 18 in July.
     U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh signed off on the agreement shortly after it was filed Wednesday, bringing the sprawling case known as In re Google Inc. – Gmail Litigation to a close. The parties agreed to vacate all future hearings and discovery deadlines, and told Koh they would notify her if the minor known only as J.K. refuses to sign the agreement when he turns 18 on July 12.
     Google’s privacy-policy updates in 2012 drew a tsunami of class actions from across the nation accusing the tech giant of aggregating the information it collects from users of its various apps and platforms. The plaintiffs in those cases claimed that the new policy violated computer-fraud, eavesdropping and wiretap laws at both state and federal levels.
     The claims were eventually combined before Koh in San Jose, but the plaintiffs faced a tough road after Koh found this past March that Google’s different terms and policies for the classes and subclasses made the matter impossible to litigate collectively.
     With the case then broken into individual actions, and the 9th Circuit’s refusal to certify the class, lawyers for both sides announced last week that all but one of the plaintiffs – J.K. – had agreed to dismiss the case.
     The details of settlements have not been disclosed.
     J.K. and his guardian are represented in San Francisco by James Wagstaffe of Kerr & Wagstaffe, and by Thomas Rosenfeld of Goldenberg Heller Antognoli & Rowland in Edwardsville, Ill.
     Google is represented in this case by Whitty Somvichian of Cooley LLP in San Francisco.

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