The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has reportedly halted a planned £3.2 billion ($4.3 billion) British lawsuit against Google over charges that the internet company illegally tracked the personal data of millions of iPhone users.
On Wednesday, Britain's top judges unanimously granted the Silicon-Valley giant an appeal against the nation's first such data privacy case, upsetting a slew of similar allegations pending against other corporations, including TikTok and Facebook.
Richard Lloyd, a consumer rights activist as well as the former director of Which? magazine had filed the groundbreaking lawsuit wherein it sought to increase the UK's class action framework to cover compensation claims for data exploitation; even if there is no evident loss of money or hardship.
As per Google, the accusation is linked to incidents that unfolded a decade earlier and were resolved at the time.
Google also added that people want to feel safe and secure online while browsing, which is why the company has focused, for years, on developing infrastructure and products that protect and respect users' confidentiality.
Between 2011 and 2012, Lloyd stated, Google illegally acquired the personal information of over five million Apple iPhone customers by circumventing the Safari browser’s default privacy settings to track online browsing history.
According to Lloyd, Google exploited this to sell a tailored advertising service, and the corporation made over $80 billion from its advertising activities alone in 2016.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, in a separate hearing, a top European Union court dismissed Google's appeal over a €2.4 billion ($2.8 billion) penalty imposed by authorities after the corporation abused its influence online by offering its own recommendations; an unfair advantage in search results.
For the uninitiated, the European Commission, the competition watchdog of the 27-nation bloc, had punished Google back in 2017 for unfairly favoring its proprietary shopping service over its competitors.
The EU court ruled that it had ‘largely dismissed’ Google’s appeal for that antitrust penalty while also upholding the fine.
Google stated that it had made alterations back in 2017 to effectively comply with the decision of the European Commission.
The penalty was imposed under European regulators' efforts to limit the online giant's influence on the region. The court followed with two more massive antitrust fines totaling €8.25 billion ($9.5 billion), which is something the corporation is appealing as well.
Google has been ordered by EU regulators to change the way it serves search results in Europe.