R.I. pension system sues Google for not disclosing breach

Donita Taylor reports:

Rhode Island is suing the parent company of Google for hiding a security breach that affected 52.5 million users, state General Treasurer Seth Magaziner stated in a news release Tuesday.


“Google had an obligation to tell its users and investors that private information wasn’t being protected,” Magaziner stated in the release.

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A motion to combine Rhode Island’s suit and two others into a class-action suit and to name the Rhode Island pension fund as lead plaintiff was filed Monday by a San Diego class-action law firm engaged by Magaziner’s office. 

Read more on Providence Journal.

Here is the text of the state’s press release, published December 11:

Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner today announced that Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island filed a motion with the court to lead a shareholder class action lawsuit against Alphabet Inc., parent company of Google, after it was revealed that Google executives had hidden privacy breaches that compromised the personal information of 52.5 million users. 

“Google had an obligation to tell its users and investors that private information wasn’t being protected,” said Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner. “Instead, Google executives decided to hide the breaches from its users and continued to mislead investors and federal regulators. This is an unconscionable violation of public trust by Google, and we are seeking financial restitution on behalf of the Rhode Island pension fund and other investors.”

The underlying action is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and accuses the company of misleading shareholders and federal regulators when they failed to disclose ongoing breaches in private user information from its social media platform Google+. 

In October, Google announced it was shutting down the Google+ social media platform, after whistle blowers came forward with claims that the company had hidden vulnerabilities in its security measures. On Monday, Google announced that personal information for 52.5 million users had been compromised.

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