And the drama continues! Google has won an appeal against a class action-style privacy litigation at the UK Supreme Court. With this triumph, the technology giant avoided what could have been up to £3BN in damages had it lost the case.
The Supreme Court said in a statement that its five judges “unanimously dismisses” the legal action brought by campaigners against the US-based tech giant on behalf of 4.4 million people in England and Wales. Without proof of these matters, a claim for damages cannot succeed,” the Supreme Court writes, summarizing its judgment.
The “Google You Owe Us” association had sought compensation of £3 billion ($4 billion, 3.5 billion euros) after accusing the group of secretly tracking iPhone users’ internet activity.
In case you’re out of the loop, A UK court had already dismissed the case in October 2018 but the judgment was overturned by the Court of Appeal, allowing the latest hearing to take place. Judge George Leggatt, delivering the Supreme Court ruling, declared the intention to seek damages without proving financial loss or mental distress, was “unsustainable”.
The association had claimed Google of circumventing iPhone security options and collecting personal data between August 2011 and February 2012 using the smartphone’s Safari browser. It said that Google “illegally misused the data of millions of iPhone users” via the “clandestine tracking and collation” of information about internet usage on iPhones.
Google has yet to comment on their latest legal victory though. “Google You Owe Us” described the verdict as a “bitter blow” to UK consumers. “We are bitterly disappointed that the Supreme Court has failed to do enough to protect the public from Google and other big tech firms who break the law,” said lead claimant Richard Lloyd.