A proposed multi-billion pound British class action against Google, which alleges the Internet giant secretly tracked millions of iPhone users, is not viable and should not be allowed to proceed, the Supreme Court was told on Wednesday. Lloyd has previously estimated that damages could run to 750 pounds per iPhone user, potentially bringing damages to more than 3 billion pounds ($4.2 billion) if any future trial succeeds. The case, brought on behalf of more than four million Apple iPhone users, hinges on whether Google breached its duties as a data controller by clandestinely collecting browser-generated data and then offering it to advertisers in 2011 and 2012 and whether such a class action can proceed in Britain. Proponents say they allow easier access to justice, especially when individual claims are too small to pursue individually, and that alternative “opt in” lawsuits, where every claimant signs up, are costly and time-consuming. The Confederation of British Industry, a trade body, says such cases could be “highly detrimental”, noting the risk of ruinous damages awards could prompt settlements regardless of the merits of a case.
Source: Economic Times