A campaigning group has applied for the Court of Appeal to hear its allegations that Google unlawfully collected personal data from more than four million iPhone users.
A High Court judge threw the case out last month without granting leave to appeal. However, the group, Google You Owe Us, applied directly to the Court of Appeal yesterday and is awaiting a ruling on whether the judges will hear the case.
The group described Mr Justice Warby’s ruling in the lower court as “disappointing” and said that it “highlighted the barriers that remain for consumers using collective actions as a route to redress in England and Wales”. The claimant’s leaders say that Google “has paid millions in fines in the US to settle earlier claims against it over similar data-gathering claims”.
Justice Warby’s judgment found that Google’s actions were arguably “wrongful, and a breach of duty”. However, the judge also ruled that affected class members did not object to their data being taken without permission.
The campaign group claimed yesterday that those in the affected class “have continued to show their support for the case on Facebook and over 20,000 class members signed up for case updates”
If the application is granted, lawyers for the campaigners will tell the Court of Appeal that the lower judgment was wrong to state that the iPhone users had not suffered damage within the meaning of the Data Protection Act, and that the class had not all suffered in the same way as a result of the data breach.
He claimed that the High Court “accepted that people did not give Google permission to use their data in this case, yet slammed the door shut on holding Google to account. By appealing this decision, we want to give affected consumers the opportunity to get the compensation they are owed and show that collective actions offer a clear route to justice for data protection claims.”
After Mr Justice Warby’s ruling Google 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.”