Lloyd v Google: Supreme Court hands down judgment in representative data protection claim – eight Matrix members involved


The Supreme Court has today handed down judgment in Lloyd v Google LLC [2021], UKSC 50 a decision which has important implications for data protection law and representative claims under CPR 19.6. The Court allowed Google’s appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision to allow to Mr Lloyd to serve a representative data protection claim on Google in the US. Representing a class of approximately 4 million iPhone users, Mr Lloyd contended that the use of tracking cookies was in breach of data protection law. He claimed the same damages for each member of the class based on the loss of control of their personal data, with no reliance placed on individual circumstances. The Court held that under section 13 of the Data Protection Act 1998 compensation cannot be awarded for a loss of control of personal data – a claimant must prove that they suffered distress or material damage. On this basis, Mr Lloyd’s had no real prospect of success, the Court ruled. The Court nevertheless held that CPR 19.6 is to be interpreted flexibly. Opt-out representative actions can be brought under this rule; they can include claims for damages, provided that an individualised assessment of damages is not required.

Eight Matrix members were involved in this case: Hugh Tomlinson QC acted for the Richard Lloyd (instructed by Mishcon de Reya LLP); Antony White QC and Eddie Craven for Google LLC (instructed by Pinsent Masons LLP); Dan Squires QC, Aidan Wills and Tim James-Matthews for Liberty, Coram CLC and Inclusion London; and Catrin Evans QC, Ian Helme for TechUK (instructed by RPC LLP).

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