Google Stole Data From ‘Hundreds Of Millions’ To Earn Billions From AI Featured

Google spent years scraping data from the internet without permission or regard to copyright and then used that data to develop its Artificial Intelligence products.

A class action lawsuit was recently filed against Google, its parent company Alphabet, and its artificial intelligence branch Google DeepMind for “secretly stealing everything ever created and shared on the internet by hundreds of millions of Americans,” according to the complaint.

“As part of its theft of personal data, Google illegally accessed restricted, subscription-based websites to take the content of millions without permission and infringed at least 200 million materials explicitly protected by copyright, including previously stolen property from websites known for pirated collections of books and other creative works,” the Google class action says. “Without this mass theft of private and copyrighted information belonging to real people, communicated to unique communities for specific purposes, and targeting specific audiences, many of Google’s AI products including Bard would not exist.”

The class is asking for Google to stop production of the AI products until class members are fairly compensated for using their data.

Google data collection used in AI products that put ‘world at peril,’ lawsuit claims

The lawsuit was in part triggered by a quiet update Google made to its privacy policy to make explicit that the company would be harvesting publicly available data to “build products and features” like Bard. That would include upcoming AI models that Google is developing, like Imagen, a text-to-image generative AI (similar to Midjourney); MusicLM, a text-to-music AI (Midjourney but for music); and Duet AI, an AI program to be embedded in Google Workspace apps to “aid” in drafting emails, preparing Slides presentations, and organizing meetings.

The plaintiffs, according to the complaint, took this privacy update as tacit admission that Google had been using this data all along for AI training purposes.

The complaint further contextualizes that this is all happening in the context of Google employees, both former and current, repeatedly sounding the alarm on the dangers of AI technology and concerns over how quickly it is being developed. Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission is also beginning to warn companies about their web-scraping, which is what triggered Google’s new privacy policies in the first place, according to the complaint.

The complaint alleges violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law, negligence, invasion of privacy under the California Constitution, unjust enrichment, direct and indirect copyright violations, and other charges.

If You Believe Google Has Accessed Your Information To Develop It’s AI Products, You May Be Eligible For Compensation

The lawsuit looks to represent anyone in the United States whose personal information was accessed, collected, tracked, taken or used by Google without consent or authorization. The lawsuit also seeks to cover anyone in the United States who owns a United States copyright in any work that was used as training data for Google’s AI products.

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