The Supreme Court will decide today whether Google should face a £ 3bn lawsuit that could require it to pay 4.4m UK iPhone users £ 750 apiece to “secretly track their usage Internet “
- UK Supreme Court to rule on £ 3bn legal action against Google today
- Google accused of secretly tracking internet activity of UK iPhone users
- Ex-Who? Director Richard Lloyd wants to sue the tech giant
- He claims that Google “illegally misused” data “via the” Safari workaround “
- Google lawyers insist there is no suggestion the so-called workaround resulted in information being disclosed to third parties
The UK’s highest court will decide today whether a billion pound lawsuit against Google over allegations that it has secretly tracked the internet activity of millions of iPhone users should be allowed.
Old which one? Director Richard Lloyd, backed by Google campaign group You Owe Us, wants to bring “representative action” against the tech giant on behalf of 4.4 million people in England and Wales.
It claims that Google “illegally abused the data of millions of iPhone users”, through the “clandestine tracking and collection” of internet usage information on the iPhones’ Safari browser, known as “Safari workaround”.
Mr Lloyd and Google You Owe Us hope to earn up to £ 3bn in compensation for alleged data protection breaches that could force the company to pay every UK iPhone user £ 750 .
Google’s lawyers insist there is no suggestion that the so-called workaround resulted in information being disclosed to third parties.
In 2018, the High Court ruled that Mr Lloyd could not serve the claim on Google outside the jurisdiction of England and Wales, but that decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal in October 2019 .
Google challenged the appeals court ruling at a hearing in April, and a panel of five Supreme Court justices will render its decision on the case this morning.
The UK’s highest court will decide today whether a billion pound lawsuit against Google over allegations that it has secretly tracked the internet activity of millions of iPhone users should be allowed. Pictured is the Googleplex in California
Google’s lawyers have argued that the landmark ruling could “open the floodgates” to broad claims filed on behalf of millions of people against companies responsible for processing people’s data.
Antony White QC told the Supreme Court that “a number of important representative actions have been taken to seek compensation for data protection rights violations” since the Court of Appeal ruling.
Mr. White said 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 ‘damages’ suffered as a result of the (data) breach, not for the breach itself” .
Mr. White added that “the technical issues that gave rise to the ‘Safari workaround’ were rectified many years ago.”
The lawyer also said that “the real purpose” of the claim proposed by Mr. Lloyd was “to continue a high-profile public campaign for” liability “against Google, rather than seeking redress” for any data breach.
Old which one? director Richard Lloyd, backed by Google campaign group You Owe Us, wants to bring “representative action” against the tech giant on behalf of 4.4 million people in England and Wales
Google challenged the Court of Appeals ruling at a hearing in April and a panel of five Supreme Court justices will render its decision on the case this morning
Hugh Tomlinson QC, representing Lloyd, said: “The fundamental question in this case is whether the courts can provide access to justice and, potentially, a remedy in cases where very large numbers of people are affected. by violations of their data protection rights. ‘
Mr Tomlinson added that the millions of proposed claimants “would not have access to justice” if Mr Lloyd’s claim was not allowed to go ahead.
He argued that “the current state of society, with the mass trade in personal data, requires the court to adapt its practice and procedural flow to allow victims of large-scale data breaches access to remedies “.
Mr Tomlinson said this would give the proposed claimants represented by Mr Lloyd “access to justice and recourse that would otherwise be absent altogether”.
Google You Owe Us and Mr Lloyd claim that Google bypassed the privacy settings of Apple iPhone phones between August 2011 and February 2012 and used the data collected to divide people into categories for advertisers.
They say the “browser-generated information” collected by Google included racial or ethnic origin, physical and mental health, political affiliations or opinions, sexual interests and social class.
Jamie Curle, a partner at law firm DLA Piper, described the judgment as “one of the most anticipated decisions of recent years.”
He added that this would “have a significant impact on the volume and nature of disputes in the area of data privacy.”
The Supreme Court justices will deliver their decision at 9.45 a.m.