AUSTIN – Attorney General Paxton secured a major victory for consumers by halting Google’s efforts to dismiss a Texas lawsuit against it, marking a major step forward in ensuring the Big Tech leviathan faces justice in a Texas court for breaking Texas consumer protection laws. Paxton is currently suing Google and alleges that the company is systematically misleading and deceiving Texas consumers in violation of Texas’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
After the lawsuit was filed, Google claimed that the Victoria, Texas court had no jurisdiction over Google and that the State’s claims against the company for violations of Texans’ privacy—which occurred in Texas—must be heard in California. The State demonstrated to the Court that, among other things,
Google assembled a large Texas data center and multiple Texas offices
designed to assist in monetizing Texans and their personal information. The Victoria, Texas court thus ruled that it does have jurisdiction over Google. Google has filed a Notice of Appeal.
Paxton’s lawsuit argues that the company misled Texas consumers by continuing to track their personal location even when users thought they had disabled this feature and by tracking users’ web history even when they thought that using the “Incognito” browser would keep it private. Google earns enormous profits by using this deceptively gathered data to push advertisements to consumers.
“Google reaps millions of dollars from its misrepresentations and from harvesting Texans’ personal data,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Google’s attempts to evade accountability will not succeed, and they certainly will not deter my resolve to protect our citizens’ privacy. Google will be held accountable in a Texas court, for exploiting the people of Texas and violating Texas law.”
To read the full court order, click here.