Despite wielding almost unbelievable power across the world, Google is contesting a number of litigation cases in a number of countries.

Not long ago, there was some upsetting news that Google reads your gmail messages.

The following Google court cases mostly include instances of data privacy violations. Google antitrust incidents aren’t that well-known.

Alternatively, here’s an infographic on Google court cases in different countries.

Google court case fact file

2005: United States

On August 25, 2005, the US Department of justice ordered Google to follow with a subpoena. The subpoena required Google to share “the text of each search string entered onto Google’s search engine”
Outcome: The court ruled in Google’s favor, considering the privacy implications of sharing the search terms.

2010: Italy

Charges: Privacy violations on the grounds of a video that showed a physically challenged minor being bullied by the minor’s classmates.

What it led to: The minor’s parents accepted an undisclosed sum as financial compensation. Three Google managers were suspended.

2010: Germany

Germany has asked Google to hand over harvested data, the one Google Street View collected from private wi-fi networks by May 26, 2010. Google failed to adhere to the deadline.

Outcome: Google handed over the data in June 2010.

2010 Czech Republic

What happened: The Czech Office for Personal Data Protection prevented Google Street View from taking pictures beyond “ordinary sight from a street”.

Outcome: Google prevailed, but with some restrictions. In 2012, Google could restart taking pictures, albeit conditions apply.

2012: United States

One of the more well-known Google litigation incidences. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a complaint against Google before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Consequently FTC filed administrative proceedings against Google.

Charges against Google: The FTC claimed Google had violated the FTC Act by “convert(ing) the private, personal information of Gmail subscribers into public information for the company’s social network service Google Buzz…”.

The FTC felt Google had “misrepresented to users of its Gmail email service” and violated its own privacy promise.

Outcome: Google agreed to pay a civil penalty of over $20Mn but it denied was guilty.

2013: United States

What happened: Google had bypassed privacy settings of Apple’s Safari browser and was tracking users without their knowledge.

Outcome: This one went beyond fines. It made Google agree to things like not bypassing a browser’s cookie settings and ensuring the cookies would expire. Again, Google did not confess being guilty.

2014: Spain

Situation: An individual requested Google Spain that his name be removed from search results that appeared in connection with forced sales, saying the event had appeared long back and was no longer current or relevant.

Outcome: The Court of Justice of European Union ruled in favor of the individual, upholding his right to be forgotten.

2015: United Kingdom

Ruling by the Court of Appeal allowed British consumers the right to sue Google in the UK on the grounds of misuse of private information.

Major source: Wikipedia