Today, Google You Owe Us are taking the fight against Google to the Court of Appeal. We allege that Google illegally collected personal data from more than four million iPhone users in 2011-2012.
The judgment found that Google’s actions were arguably “wrongful, and a breach of duty”. The disappointing High Court judgment, delivered in October, highlighted the barriers that remain for consumers using collective actions as a route to redress in England and Wales.
Google make hundreds of billions of pounds in advertising revenue every year, and have previously paid millions in fines in the US to settle earlier claims against it over similar data-gathering claims.
The UK’s data protection watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office, also described the adtech industry, underpinned by Google, as operating illegally in a recent report.
Richard Lloyd, the representative claimant, said:
“Google’s business model is based on using personal data to target adverts to consumers – making billions in the process. Using personal data without consent is illegal.
Despite the High Court acknowledging that millions of people did not give Google permission to use their data in this case, its decision blocked iPhone users’ route to redress. This effectively slammed the door shut on holding Google to account.
The over-stretched data protection regulator has refused to stand up for consumers in this case. When the regulators fail to properly protect us against being ripped off by giant tech companies in this way, we have no alternative but to take action ourselves.
The appeal today is significant not only for those affected by this case but for consumers in the UK in the future who should be provided with effective legal mechanisms to hold the world’s largest companies to account for mishandling our data.”