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UK Court Clears Mass Case Filing Against Google Over Data Illegal Data Access

UK Court Clears Mass Case Filing Against Google Over Data Illegal Data Access
Mass action against Google can now be taken by iPhone users of the United Kingdom following a ruling by the Court of Appeal in London to allow the cases. This ruling overturned an earlier court ruling by high court preventing the filing of the cases. The case is centred around allegations that personal data of more than 4 million iPhone users had been accessed illegally by Google.
According to the legal papers of the case, between June 2011 and February 2012, Google was accused by claimants that it had accessed users’ internet browsing data on Apple iPhones by subverting the privacy settings of Safari.
The decision of the appeals court was described as “groundbreaking” by Mishcon de Reya, the legal firm acting for one of the representative claimants, because it “confirms a number of important legal principles under Data Protection law.” The firm also said that the ruling could even be the start of a new procedural framework “for the conduct of mass data breach claims.”
Richard Lloyd, the client of Mishcon de Reya, welcomed the decision for sending “a very clear message to Google and other large tech companies: you are not above the law.”
It is of the opinion that the whole case should be dismissed, said Google in response to the court ruling. “This case relates to events that took place nearly a decade ago and that we addressed at the time,” a spokeswoman told the media. “We believe it has no merit and should be dismissed.”
There have been concerns expressed against Google over alleged instances of breaches of data privacy at a mass scale. France’s data watchdog had slapped a fine of €50 million earlier this year, primarily over charges that the search engine giant had not been able to provide transparency and easily accessible information about the data consent policies of the company which meant that the users found it hard to manage their preferences about the manner in which they wanted their personal data is used by Google.
An agreement to settle a French fiscal fraud probe for almost €1 billion was made by Google just last month. That probe was centered around suspects that the company, which has its European headquarters in Ireland, was not paying its due taxes in France as it was avoiding and not disclosing some of the revenue generating activities by Google in the French market.  
Google also announced in September that an order to pay a $170 million settlement was issued to the company and its video streaming service, YouTube, by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and New York’s attorney general over allegations that millions in revenues was generated by YouTube through illegally collecting the personal information of child users without asking for the consent to do so form the parents of the children.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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