Personal data: a complaint against Google examined by the British Supreme Court

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The British Supreme Court is examining on Wednesday an appeal by Google against a class action lawsuit launched by a consumer association and accusing the American giant of having illegally collected personal data from iPhone users.

The highest court in the United Kingdom will examine this case for two days, before rendering its decision later on whether or not to continue these proceedings against Google.

The association “Google You Owe Us” (Google, you owe us something), led by the former leader of the consumer association Which ?, Richard Lloyd, is trying to obtain at least 1 billion pounds in compensation for over 4 million users in England and Wales.

At first instance, the High Court of London had refused in October 2018 to authorize such a procedure, before the Court of Appeal in October 2019 decided otherwise and allowed the procedure to continue.

The setback led Google to appeal to the Supreme Court to prevent the class action from succeeding, arguing that the prosecution failed to show evidence that users had been penalized.

The association accuses Google of bypassing the security options of the iPhone and collecting personal data between August 2011 and February 2012 using the Safari browser.

Information concerning social or ethnic origin, health, political opinions, users’ sexual preferences or even their purchasing habits had been collected, according to the prosecution, adding that this information was then compiled and then offered to advertisers. .

“Google has illegally misused the data of millions of iPhone users without their consent and we want them to be held accountable,” Lloyd said in a statement ahead of the Supreme Court hearing.

For her part, a spokeswoman for the American giant estimated that the complaint relates to “events which occurred ten years ago to which we responded at that time”.

A similar case was brought to British justice in 2015 by three people. The latter had obtained an agreement that remained confidential, but which had opened the door to collective action, according to Google You Owe Us.


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