On Monday, London’s High Court blocked an attempt to bring legal action against Alphabet’s Google over claims it has gathered confidential data from more than 4 million I phone users although it is said that action of the company is “wrongful”
The applicants had said that Google had improperly penetrated details of I Phone users’ Internet browsing data by bypassing the privacy settings on the “Safari” browser in between January 2011 and February 2012
4.5 million people had been troubled by the “Safari Workaround”
A customer activist named as Richard Lloyd who was behind the “Google You Owe Use” court challenge had predicted that almost 4.5 million people had been troubled by the “Safari Workaround” and wanted the tech giant to pay out several hundred dollars in damages to each affected individual.
Richard Lloyd, the only named applicant, was not applicable:
Google had argued the mass case brought by Richard Lloyd, the only named applicant, was not applicable and should not go ahead.
the judge, Mark Warby, said in his ruling.
“There is no dispute that it is arguable that Google’s alleged role in the collection, collation, and use of data obtained via the Safari Workaround was wrongful, and a breach of duty,”
However, he said the case brought by Richard Lloyd did not support the argument that he and those he represented had suffered “damage” as described by Britain’s Data Protection Act nor could the court allow such representative action to go ahead.
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In his ruling, he said the main beneficiaries of the claim would have been those who funded it and the lawyers.
Richard Lloyd said his group, to which 20,000 people had signed up to, would seek permission to appeal the decision.
he said in a statement,
“Today’s judgment is extremely disappointing and effectively leaves millions of people without any practical way to seek redress and compensation when their personal data has been misused,”
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Google’s business model is based on using personal data to target adverts to consumers and they must ask permission before using this data. The court accepted that people did not give permission in this case yet slammed the door shut on holding Google to account.
A Google spokeswoman said:
“The privacy and security of our users is extremely important to us. This claim is without merit, and we’re pleased the Court has dismissed it.”
Google remains under pressure from lawmakers and regulators over its privacy practices in the United States, where it has admitted making mistakes in the past.
In 2012, it agreed to pay a then-record civil penalty of $22.5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it misrepresented to Apple Safari Internet browser users that it would not place tracking “cookies” or serve them targeted ads.