The Supreme Court has dismissed Google’s claim that it improperly collected data from iPhone users, denying compensation to 4.4 million people.
The Supreme Court has dismissed a legal claim that Google misappropriated iPhone users’ web browsing data in the UK between 2011 and 2012.
In the UK’s Supreme Court, Google successfully defended itself against a landmark legal claim that it secretly tracked the internet activity of millions of iPhone users.
Richard Lloyd, a former director of consumer advocacy group Which?, filed the lawsuit in 2017, alleging that Apple had illegally misused millions of iPhone users’ data by secretly tracking their web browsing activity.
Mr Lloyd claimed that Google used Apple’s Safari web browser, which blocks such cookies by default, to place ad-tracking cookies, which are data-storing technology that remembers details previously entered on certain websites, on iPhones, iPads, and Macs over several months.
Between June 2011 and February 2012, he claimed, the workaround tracked the user’s web browsing history and used the information to sell a targeted advertising service.
Around 4.4 million people in England and Wales could have been entitled to around £750 in damages totaling around £3 billion under the claim.
An individual was not entitled to compensation, according to Lord Leggatt, in the absence of any evidence that Google had commercially benefited from the information, the quantity of the data, the period of time it was collected over, or its sensitivity.
“The attempt to recover compensation without proving any facts, specifically to any individual iPhone user, and in particular, without alleging or proving that Google’s alleged unlawful conduct caused any financial damage or mental distress to any such individual is thus unsustainable,” he said.
“In these circumstances, the claim cannot succeed, and the judge was correct in refusing permission to serve the proceedings on Google outside of the jurisdiction.”
Google’s lawyers argued that there was no evidence that any collected data was shared with third parties and that, if the ruling was upheld, it could have “opened the floodgates” for other claims against tech companies that handle user data.
“The allegation that Google secretly tracked the internet activity of millions of Apple iPhone users for several months and used the data obtained for commercial purposes gives the claim the appearance of substance,” Lord Leggatt said.
“However, on closer examination, the claimant is seeking damages without attempting to prove that this allegation is true.
News summary from Infosurhoy in the United Kingdom.
The Supreme Court has rejected Google’s claim that it improperly collected data from iPhone users, denying compensation to 4.4 million people.
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