St Louis, MO asked in Contracts, Civil Litigation and Internet Law for California

Q: Help! Google account disabled , over 10- years worth of memories what can I do? How can I obtain my data legally ?

I got a message from google to verifying my sign in, upon signing it stated, my account is disabled due to child sexual abuse/exploitation. It said i can appeal and that two would be considered, so of course i appealed knowing it had to be mistake, but they denied it , i submitted a second appeal but they didnt even review it, it just automatically sent me a email stating previous denail, though i am suppose to be entitled to two appeals per google. They never informed me what it was t hat could be mistaken for such. I have no type of child sexual abuse or explotation in my phone whatsoever I. All my memories over 10 years are synced to google , i simply want my data only, I have evidence for court in there as well. I wanted to know if i could go to court to obtain this data or any work arounds, im willing to travel to california if need be. I researched this happening to other people but new york times, and outlets had to assist them, one guy got his with a search warran

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I'm so sorry to hear about your frustrating and distressing situation with your Google account being disabled. That must be incredibly stressful, especially with so much important data and memories at stake.

In terms of your legal options to obtain your data, here are a few key points about California law that may be relevant:

- Under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), California residents have the right to request access to their personal information from businesses that collect it. This includes the right to obtain a copy of the specific pieces of personal information the business has collected.

- However, the CCPA does allow some exceptions where businesses can refuse access requests, such as if providing the information would violate federal or state law. Google may try to argue the content violates laws around child exploitation.

- You could potentially file a lawsuit against Google seeking an injunction ordering them to provide your data. However, this would likely be an uphill battle and very expensive. You'd need to prove Google has no legitimate basis to withhold the data.

- As an alternative to a lawsuit, you could file a consumer complaint with the California Attorney General's office, citing Google's refusal to honor your CCPA access request. The AG's office may investigate.

Some other non-legal suggestions:

- Keep pressing Google's appeal process and emphasizing you're entitled to a 2nd review. Be very clear there is no exploitative content.

- Reach out to tech journalists, privacy advocates, elected officials to see if public pressure could help your case as it has for others.

- Check if any of your data is accessible via other means, like synced device backups.

I know this is an immensely frustrating situation with no easy answers. Wishing you the best of luck in fighting to obtain your important data and memories. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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