A UK multibillion pound class action proposal against Google, which alleges the internet giant has secretly tracked millions of iPhone users, is unsustainable and should not be allowed to continue, the Supreme Court said Wednesday.
Antony White, an attorney for Google, said on the first day of a two-day hearing that any first US-style data protection lawsuit could only seek redress under English law if a data breach resulted in damage to people. applicants.
“It is not my case that the loss of personal data may not have serious consequences, but it will not always do so in a way that results in compensation,” he said, adding that any reward uniform would also not take into account the differences in use of the telephone.
Richard Lloyd, former director of consumer rights group Which ?, is leading the landmark claim that seeks to expand Britain’s new class action regime and could set the stage for broad and similar consumer protection claims. data against tech giants like Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube.
The case, brought on behalf of more than five million Apple iPhone users, hinges on the recoverable damages consumers have for data breaches and the ability to use class actions to claim them.
Lloyd, who says he wants to hold the world’s biggest companies to account, estimated that people who used iPhones between 2011 and 2012 could be awarded more than £ 3 billion ($ 4.2 billion) in repair. if a future trial is successful.
He alleges that Google illegally took personal data of iPhone users by tracking internet browsing history and used it to sell a targeted and lucrative advertising service.
“Google generates billions of pounds in revenue each year from advertising based on our personal data,” he said in a statement. “It is quite normal that they are held responsible for having profited from the misuse of this personal data.”
Experts believe the case is “extremely important” and urge companies to be fair and transparent when collecting and using tons of personal data for business purposes.
“If the judgment goes in favor of the plaintiffs, we will see the floodgates open to a tsunami of representative data class actions in the UK,” said Julian Copeman, partner at Herbert Smith Freehills.
Critics of ‘opt-out’ class actions, which automatically bind a defined group in a lawsuit unless individuals opt out, say they can lead to baseless claims and lush profits for lawyers and their lawyers. donors.
Proponents say they allow easier access to justice, especially when individual claims are too small to be pursued individually, and alternative “opt in” lawsuits, where each claimant registers, are costly and take time. time.
The Confederation of British Industry, a trade body, says such cases could be “very damaging”, noting that the risk of ruinous damages could result in settlements regardless of the merits of a case.
“This is a revolutionary case which could lead to a financial blow,” said Rafi Azim-Khan, data protection officer at the Pillsbury law firm.
(This story was not edited by UK Time News on Social Platforms.)