A U.S. court has sanctioned Google LLC for a second time in recent days, after a judge in a decision unsealed on Wednesday said the Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) unit took too long to comply with a ruling last year in a data-privacy class action.
The order from U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan van Keulen in San Jose, California, stems from a class action claiming Google unlawfully tracked its users while they were using the company’s Chrome browsers in private, or “incognito,” mode.
In the data privacy case, Google has said its Chrome browser users consented to the company’s data collection. A Google spokesperson said the company has “provided and disclosed countless documents and discovery.”
The latest ruling said Google failed to comply with a deadline stemming from a court order last year that imposed sanctions on the company. The new sanctions order and the prior one from May 2022 addressed internal Google evidence concerning consumer use of the company’s private browsing mode.
Google, according to the judge’s order, will be barred from relying on certain employee witnesses in the case. Van Keulen also said Google must pay fees associated with two experts working for the plaintiffs, and must also pay a $79,000 fine.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
The consumer plaintiffs are suing for an injunction that could among other things could require Google to delete private browsing information. A trial is scheduled for November.
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