A LONDON COURT has blocked a mass-action law suit against Google for improper collection of data through Apple's iPhone.
As previously reported, users were protesting at data harvesting from the Chrome web browser during June 2011 and February 2012. It bypassed the phone's privacy settings allow Google to collect browsing history, the "fuel" for its ability to offer targeted advertising.
The hearing was brought about by Richard Lloyd, a former director of Which?, under the banner of "Google You Owe Us".
The group was aiming to win 3.2 billion pounds in compensation split between 4.4m users. This is far greater than the $39.5m already paid out to US users of Chrome on iPhone for the same allegation.
Google's parent company Alphabet has rejected the allegations stating that there is no evidence that the so-called "Safari Workaround" was ever used to offer data to third parties.
This was the view of Judge Mark Walby who, on throwing out the case, said that whilst Google's actions were "wrongful and a breach of duty," the group has no means to prove that they suffered in any way as a result of the data collection.
Warby also told Lloyd that the mass-action was invalid because the members of the group didn't share the "same interest", in other words implying that some people were in it for the money, not because they believe in privacy.
Lloyd believes that data including ethnicity, health (physical and mental), politics, sexuality, class, income, shopping habits and location which was then categorised and sold to third party advertisers.
Speaking for Google at the time that the suit was first heard in May, Comms Director for Google UK, Tom Price said, ""We believe it has no merit and should be dismissed. We've filed evidence in support of that view and look forward to making our case in Court."
Now it seems that for Google, vindication has arrived. Lloyd had previously described the case as the 'fight of his life'. μ
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