Based on the latest report, the possibility of a legal action against Google seems grave, as three judges have ruled in the UK.
Google was charged for tracking personal data of four million iPhone users. Previously the case was blocked by the High Court. Allegedly, the case was brought by Richard Lloyd, the former director of consumer rights group, Which?
In defence, Google claimed, “The case relates to events that took place nearly a decade ago and that we addressed at the time. We believe it has no merit and should be dismissed.”
Between 2011 and 2012, Google cookies gathered data on race, health, sexuality, finance and ethnicity through Apple’s Safari web browser. The information was tracked despite users choosing “Do not track” under privacy setting.
The case is determined as a so-called class action, when one person represents the other with the same complaint. It is the first time in the UK, that a big technology company has been charged with an alleged misuse of data.
The case was however overthrown in 2018 when judge, Justice Warby said it was difficult to trace the number of people affected and said that the ones who suffered the damage were not supported by the group who brought the case.
The Court of Appeal however now claims the case can proceed, because individual personal data has value, the definition of damage could also apply loss of control of personal data, this therefore also qualifies a user for compensation and finally representative actions of such type are suitable to legal procedures which seek mass redress.
In the wake of the consequences, Lloyd stated, “Today’s judgment sends a very clear message to Google and other large tech companies, ‘You are not above the law.’
“Google can be held to account in this country for misusing peoples’ personal data and groups of consumers can together ask the courts for redress when firms profit unlawfully from ‘repeated and widespread’ violations of our data-protection rights.
“We will take this fight against Google all the way.”