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UK High Court Blocks Billion-Dollar Privacy Lawsuit Against Google

An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: The High Court has blocked a bid to sue Google for allegedly unlawfully taking data from 4.4 million UK iPhone users. The legal case was mounted by a group called Google You Owe Us, led by former Which director Richard Lloyd. It sought compensation for people whose handsets were tracked by Google for several months in 2011 and 2012. Mr Lloyd said he was “disappointed” by the ruling and his group would appeal, but Google said it was “pleased” and thought the case was “without merit.”

Mr Justice Warby who oversaw the case explained that it was blocked because the claims that people suffered damage were not supported by the facts advanced by the campaign group. Another reason for blocking it, he said, was the impossibility of reliably calculating the number of iPhone users affected by the alleged privacy breach. The complaint made by Google You Owe Us alleged that the cookies were used by Google to track people and get around settings on Apple’s Safari browser that blocked such monitoring. Ads were sold on the basis of the personal information gathered by Google’s cookies. The Safari workaround was used by Google on lots of different devices but the UK case centered on iPhone users. The group hoped to win $1.3 billion in compensation for affected users.


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