The U.S. District Court, Northern District of California has approved Rhode Island Treasurer Seth Magaziner's motion that Employees' Retirement System of Rhode Island be named lead plaintiff in a shareholder class action lawsuit against Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google.
"Investors in Alphabet, including the members of Employees' Retirement System of Rhode Island, are seeking to recover for harm they suffered when Alphabet misled regulators, users and the public regarding its failure to secure users' information," said Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner.
On January 25, 2019, Judge Jeffrey White approved a motion to name Rhode Island as lead plaintiff, and to consolidate all similar class actions suits against Alphabet into a single class action. Multiple lawsuits were filed against Alphabet in response to an October 2018 revelation that Google executives knew about, but did not disclose, a breach in its Google+ platform which compromised the personal information of 500,000 users.
Months later, Google announced that the number of its users whose private information was compromised was one hundred times greater than originally announced. Without their permission or knowledge, Google+ allowed the private information of approximately 52.5 million users to be compromised.
"Google knew that there had been a security breach and that users' private information had been compromised, and instead of disclosing the information, they chose to hide it," added Magaziner.
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