Class Action Against Google Blocked
A lawsuit accusing Google of unlawfully collecting iPhone users’ personal data was rejected today by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.
The case was brought against Google’s parent company, Alphabet, by Richard Lloyd, former director of consumer rights group Which? Lloyd claimed that Google used cookies to gather data on health, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and finance through Apple’s Safari web browser, regardless of whether users had selected the privacy setting “do not track.”
Lloyd alleged that between 2011 and 2012, Google secretly collected information about more than 5 million iPhone users, then exploited the data for commercial profit. The suit sought $4.3bn in compensation for British iPhone users whose data had allegedly been illegally tracked.
In his judgement, Lord Leggatt said that Lloyd had sought compensation for millions of people without proof of damage.
“The claimant seeks damages . . . for each individual member of the represented class without attempting to show that any wrongful use was made by Google of personal data relating to that individual or that the individual suffered any material damage or distress as a result of a breach,” it read.
“Without proof of these matters, a claim for damages cannot succeed.”