The UK’s Supreme Court has rejected a claim that sought billions of pounds in damages from Google over alleged illegal tracking of millions of iPhones.
The judge said the claimant had failed to prove damage had been caused to individuals by the data collection.
But he did not rule out the possibility of future mass-action lawsuits if damages could be calculated.
The case will have implications for similar mass-action lawsuits.
In his judgement, Lord Leggatt said a key issue was that “the claim has been framed in order to try to bring it as a representative action” for many people.
“The claimant seeks damages… for each individual member of the represented class without attempting to show that any wrongful use was made by Google of personal data relating to that individual or that the individual suffered any material damage or distress as a result of a breach,” it read.
“Without proof of these matters, a claim for damages cannot succeed.”
But he added that the case had a “real chance of success” if pursued by the claimant as an individual, instead of as a mass action.