Google wins appeal against UK class action-style suit seeking damages for Safari tracking – TechCrunch

Google has appealed a class action-style privacy proceeding in the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. If the proceedings were lost, damages of up to £ 3 billion could be avoided.

long-term Proceedings Brought to you by veteran consumer rights activist Richard Lloyd. Richardroid has been pursuing a class action since 2017, claiming that Google applied Safari’s workaround to override the iPhone user’s privacy settings in Apple’s Safari browser between 2011 and 2012. I have. Violations of an estimated 4 million UK iPhone users affected.

Lloyd’s proceedings sought damages for the harm of privacy. In a broader sense, the proceedings sought to prove that a derivative suit could be filed in the United Kingdom seeking compensation for a data protection breach, despite the lack of a general class action system in English law.

return 2018 The High Court blocked the proceedings, but following year The Court of Appeals overturned the ruling and allowed the proceedings to be heard.

But today’s unanimous Supreme Court judgement In essence, we return to the High Court’s view: blocking derivative suits.

The Supreme Court judge took the view that claiming compensation would require damage / loss and the need to prove the damage / loss individually cannot be skipped. in short, As Lloyd’s litigants have requested, compensation cannot simply be applied uniformly for the “loss of control” of the personal data of each member of the alleged representative class.

“Without evidence of these issues, the claim for damages would not be successful,” the Supreme Court summarized the ruling.

The ruling has hit the UK campaign participants’ hopes of filing a class action proceeding against the tracking industry.

If Google lost judgment, it would have opened the door to the more representative actions brought about by invasion of privacy. However, the winning of the appeal by the Adtech giant could put a lot of cold on the British class action against the data mining technology giant. in recent years, Attracting commercial litigation funders.

In response to today’s ruling, a law firm BLM“The outcome of the proceedings will cause a celebration of Google and organizations that process large amounts of data, or business models (and their shareholders and insurance companies) based on the use of personal data.”

Another law firm, Linklaters LLP, described the ruling as “a big blow to the claimant’s law firm and funders who wanted to build a new opt-out regime for damages in the area of ​​data breaches.” ..

In a statement, dispute resolution partner Harriet Ellis of Linklaters added, “We now expect that many of the resulting similar claims will disappear.” “The plaintiffs carefully review their decisions to see if there are still viable opt-out class actions that can be filed. But that seems really difficult.”

We asked Lloyd’s leading law firm, Mishcon de Layer, for comment.

In its own response to the Supreme Court’s decision, Google avoided discussing the details of the case.

“This claim is related to what happened 10 years ago and we dealt with it at that time. People want to know that they are safe and secure online. That’s why we Has been focused on building products and infrastructure that respect and protect people’s privacy for many years. “

But the tech giant spokesperson also techUK Trade Association — This Intervened in the case to support Google. And today, he wrote, “If the appeal had been dismissed, this would have opened the door.” Speculative and nasty claims against data managers with widespread consequences for both public and private organizations. “

The UK trade association further said, “We do not oppose typical legal action, but we need to take some action first to see if any damage has occurred to an individual as a result of a data breach. I think. Compensation “.

However, as the Supreme Court judge points out, in the discussion of the cost of an “opt-in” litigation system (rather than an “opt-out”), access to justice if individual claims are only worthwhile. Obstacles can simply be pushed out of reach. The associated litigation management costs to process individual claims “can easily exceed the potential value of the claims”, so hundreds of pounds per case (in the Lloyd proceedings, proposals total £ 750 per person). was).

Therefore, for clarity, techUK opposes the typical legal action raised against almost all data breaches.

Meanwhile, the UK’s Data Protection Watchdog shows that despite the ICO’s warning, there is a complete lack of willingness to enforce the law against the data mining ad: tech industry. After 2019, Of rampant illegal pursuit.

NS The UK government is also currently discussing weakening Domestic data protection system.

Therefore, the question of how the average British citizen can accurately obtain the privacy rights claimed in British law seems to wrap their information in paper.

Rights groups responded to the Supreme Court’s ruling by asking the government to legislate collective bailouts.

In the statement Open Rights GroupJim Killock, Executive Director of the company, said:

“ICOs can’t act in all cases, and sometimes they don’t want to. We’ve been waiting for more than two years in a lawsuit against the ad: tech industry that the ICO operates illegally. There are no signs of action.

“But in such cases, it’s completely unreasonable for someone to put the house at risk for legal costs. Without a collective mechanism, we’re left there. In many cases, data protection. It’s very difficult to do against the tech giant.

“Governments need to keep that promise and consider implementing collective action under the GDPR.[t] Lloyd vs. Google was specifically rejected in February because it showed that existing rules could provide a path to bailouts. “

Google wins appeal against UK class action-style suit seeking damages for Safari tracking – TechCrunch Source link Google wins appeal against UK class action-style suit seeking damages for Safari tracking – TechCrunch

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