Google won an appeal in the US Supreme Court in a case that would have allowed many users to receive refunds for the way their data was used. The Lloyd case vs Google revolved around claims that the company secretly tracked millions of iPhones through a ploy found in Apple’s Safari browser.
Google wins the Lloyd case: no privacy violation
The ruling will be a blow to privacy activists, who hoped they could use the courts to force Google to pay up to £ 3 billion in compensation. In the wake of the case, the government should now try to give people a way to cope with these data breaches without having to spend large sums on legal fees, or so it has claimed. Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group.
The High Court had initially ruled that Mr. Lloyd could not notify Google of the complaint outside the jurisdiction of England and Wales in October 2018, but that decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal in October 2019. Google then appealed that ruling in the Supreme Court and has now won the case, restoring the original decision.
Google’s attorneys argued at the hearing that the historic ruling could open the door to vast claims, made on behalf of millions of people against companies responsible for data management. Refunds would therefore be due only in case users have been harmed by the data leak, and not simply because of the theft of the same.