A Massachusetts lawyer is suing Google for $1,000 for including him in search results

A Massachusetts lawyer who has apparently by no means heard of the Streisand effect is suing Google for returning results on him once you search for his title.

Matthew Sandofsky filed the suit towards the tech large on Monday in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts. He’s asking for $1,000 for himself and anybody else affected, which given the ubiquity of Google and the web is shut to each single American grownup.

His lawsuit, first noticed by Universal Hub, claims that Google violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) as a result of employers and landlords can use the search engine to find out about a possible worker or tenant.

He argues that Google needs to be thought-about a client reporting company, like Equifax or Transunion, and that it flagrantly violates the FCRA as a result of it doesn’t make sure the accuracy or privateness in what info it collects and shares about folks.

Google, in fact, doesn’t present somebody’s credit score data with a easy search. But it might reveal and catalog the “character, general reputation, [or] personal characteristics” of somebody through hyperlinks to exterior sources. Under these definitions, Sandofsky claims, Google’s search engine results are the identical as a client report.

The plaintiff additionally desires the court docket to determine whether or not Google ought to get the consent of individuals earlier than “producing reports” (search results) on them and whether or not the corporate ought to try to ensure the knowledge it has on folks is correct.

“[Google’s] conduct demonstrates a reckless disregard for the truth and accuracy of the consumer reports they generate. The acts and omissions described above were willful and performed with actual or implied malice,” the go well with concludes.

The apparently litigious plaintiff additionally filed a related lawsuit against Turbotenant, an organization that produces software program and companies for landlords, in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey final week. He says that Turbotenant additionally violated the FCRA when it offered inaccurate details about him after he despatched a New Jersey landlord a rental software in 2019. When he contacted Turbotenant to repair the error, an agent informed him to test with Transunion as a substitute, as that was the place the precise data got here from.

His argument, once more, hinges on the declare that Turbotenant needs to be thought-about a client reporting company as a result of it shares info on people and subsequently ought to repair errors by itself.

It’s nonetheless unclear whether or not Sandofsky’s line of reasoning is sound, and as Universal Hub points out, he has to additionally persuade a choose that he’s truly been negatively affected by Google’s search results for the case to even make it to court docket. There are solely 160 results for his name as of Tuesday night (however that quantity is prone to develop in the close to future), and many of the results are both about his lawsuit or innocuous hyperlinks about him or different folks named Matt or Matthew Sandofsky.

There’s one stray end result about an arrest of a Matthew Sandofsky in California from final June, nevertheless it supplies no particulars on the character of the arrest or proof to consider that it’s the Matthew Sandofsky in query.

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