Google has won an appeal in the Supreme Court against a case in which users could be seen getting paid for the way they used their data.
The Lloyd vs Google case revolved around claims that Google had secretly tracked millions of iPhones through a workaround in Apple’s Safari browser.
The decision would be a major blow to privacy campaigners, who had hoped they would be able to use the courts to force Google to pay up to £3 billion in compensation.
Open Rights Group executive director Jim Killock said that in the wake of the case, the government must now give people a way to “seek redress for massive data breaches” without spending large amounts on legal fees.
The High Court initially ruled that Mr Lloyd could not serve claims on Google outside the jurisdiction of England and Wales in October 2018, but that decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal in October 2019. Google then challenged that decision in the Supreme Court. And has now won, restoring that original decision.
Google’s lawyers argued at the hearing that the landmark decision could “open a floodgate” to huge claims brought on behalf of millions of people against companies responsible for handling people’s data.
Antony White QC told the Supreme Court that since the Court of Appeal’s decision “a number of significant representative actions seeking compensation for data protection rights violations have been initiated”.
Mr White said allowing such claims to be brought “could have profound and far-reaching implications in all civil litigation”.
They argued that, under data protection laws, “compensation is available only for ‘damage’ that resulted from the (data) breach, and not for the breach.”
Additional reporting by the Press Association
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /