Google could be forced to pay iPhone users up to £ 3 billion in compensation following allegations that it secretly followed millions of users.
As many as four million iPhone users in England and Wales could be affected, who could be awarded payments of £ 750 each if the company loses business.
Secretly collect data?
The landmark case against the search engine was taken to Supreme Court justices this week and focuses on allegations that the company was secretly monitoring the online activity of millions of iPhone users in England and the UK. Wales.
The class action lawsuit is brought by Richard Lloyd, former director of consumer group Which ?, which alleges that Google’s ‘cookies’ collected information about 4.4 million iPhone users who used the web browser Safari between 2011 and 2012.
Mr Lloyd claims the tech company collected data on the user’s health, race, ethnicity, sexuality and political affiliations, even though it had selected a ‘do not track’ privacy setting ‘.
It was also claimed that this information was then used to group people into categories for advertising purposes.
However, Google’s lawyers say there is no indication that Safari’s so-called workaround resulted in information being disclosed to third parties.
Lloyd, who is backed by the Google You Owe Us campaign group, hopes to earn between £ 1 billion and £ 3 billion in compensation for alleged breaches of data protection law.
In a statement ahead of the hearing, Lloyd said, “Google makes billions of pounds in revenue from advertising based on our personal data every year.
“It is quite normal that they are held responsible for the profit of the misuse of this personal data.”
Brought to the Supreme Court
The case was initially dismissed by the High Court after it found it too difficult to calculate how many people had been affected or whether they had suffered losses.
This decision was later overturned in 2019 by the Court of Appeal and the case has now been taken to the Supreme Court.
Antony White QC told the court that “a number of substantial representative actions have been taken to seek compensation for data protection rights violations” since the Court of Appeal ruling.
Claims “brought on behalf of hundreds of thousands and, at least in one case, millions of individuals” were also recently launched against Google-owned Facebook, TikTok and YouTube, the court heard.
Mr White said in written submissions that allowing such claims could have “far-reaching and far-reaching implications in all civil litigation.”
He argued that under data protection laws, “compensation is only available for the ‘damage’ suffered as a result of the (data) breach, and not for the breach itself.”
A Google spokesperson said: “These allegations relate to events that took place ten years ago and which we discussed at the time. We are eager to take our case to court. “
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This notice was published: 2021-04-30 19:52:55