LONDON (Reuters) – The London Court of Appeal upheld a lawsuit against Google over allegations that the company collected data from more than 4 million iPhone users, overturning a ruling in 2018.
The complainants said Google illegally accessed Internet browsing data from iPhone users, bypassing privacy settings in the Safari browser between June 2011 and February 2012.
The London Supreme Court ruled in October 2018 that Google's alleged role in the collection, compilation and use of browser data was illegal, but that the complainants were not prejudiced as specified by the UK Data Protection Act. .
James Oldnall, the lead attorney, said the ruling by the Court of Appeal "confirmed our view that representative actions are essential to holding corporate giants accountable."
Richard Lloyd, the plaintiff's plaintiff, said Wednesday's trial "sends a very clear message to Google and other big tech companies: you're not above the law."
"Google can be held responsible in this country for misuse of people's personal data, and consumer groups may seek judicial redress when companies illegally profit from 'repeated and widespread' violations of our data protection rights," he added.
Google said protecting the privacy and security of its users has always been its number one priority.
"This case refers to events that occurred nearly a decade ago and which we resolved at the time," said a spokeswoman. "We believe the action has no merit and should be filed."
(By Paul Sandle)