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techUK written intervention in the appeal of Richard Lloyd v Google LLC

techUK has made a written intervention in the appeal of Richard Lloyd v Google LLC at the UK Supreme Court. See below a statement from techUK on our intervention as well as a link to the full written submission.

"On the permission of the Supreme Court, techUK has submitted a written intervention in the appeal of Richard Lloyd v Google LLC."

"The appeal concerns two issues of public importance that have profound implications for the UK technology sector. The first is whether monetary compensation is available in respect of a breach of data protection legislation even where no damage or distress has been suffered. If the appeal is upheld this would mean a seismic transformation in how the operation of the wording in the Directive and GDPR has previously been understood. The second issue relates to the bringing of representative "opt-out" actions in respect of claims for a breach of data protection legislation."

"The appeal has the potential to create a new legal precedent permitting representative action claims for breaches of data protection legislation to be brought against technology companies, public sector bodies and others, on an "opt-out" rather than an "opt-in" basis, without those within the representative class having to prove that they suffered any damage or distress. techUK is concerned that this may open the door to speculative and vexatious claims made against data controllers by individuals claiming to represent groups of people without their knowledge."

"techUK does not oppose representative action claims, permitted under the current law. What we do oppose is creating an opportunity for claims being made on behalf of members of the public without their knowledge or consent and without those members of the public having suffered any damage or distress."

"If both issues are upheld, the UK would have adopted a different approach to claims for compensation compared with other EU jurisdictions. Such divergence in approach would create more legal risk for data controllers and data processors in the UK than in the European Union."

"We believe that the current law provides individuals with the appropriate tools to allow data subjects to obtain appropriate redress following data breaches. Claims for compensation arising from such breaches are routinely settled in accordance with the current legal and regulatory framework (the Data Protection Act 2018)." 

"Our written intervention points out the far-reaching consequences arising out of the Court of Appeal's judgment that are of significant concern to those in the technology sector who control and process significant quantities of personal data in the furtherance of economic and social developments."

About techUK: 

techUK is the trade association which brings together people, companies and organisations to realise the positive outcomes of what digital technology can achieve.  With over 800 members (the majority of which are SMEs) across the UK, techUK creates a network for innovation and collaboration across business, government and stakeholders to provide a better future for people, society, the economy and the planet.

techUK instructed David Cran and Alex Vakil at RPC and Catrin Evans QC and Ian Helme at Matrix chambers.

techUK's full written intervention can be viewed here.


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