All Quebecers who have been using the internet since 2017 can now hope to spit out a few thousand dollars from Google, which is accused of getting rich.
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Quebec’s Supreme Court just approved a lawsuit brought by Option Consommateurs against the giant — $76 billion in profits on $258 billion in 2021 sales.
“We just won a premiere round against a giant in a very important dispute related to data protection,” proudly launches Alexandre Plourde, lawyer and analyst at Option consommateurs (OC).
The Silicon Valley company is accused of not obtaining enough consent from Internet users when acquiring their data.
He is also accused of constantly tracking internet users, whether they are on a Google website or service or elsewhere online. “Our data never stops accumulating, no matter where you are on the Internet,” explains OC’s lawyer, who has hired Belleau Lapointe to represent the organization.
The dispute will revolve around the value of this personal data.
Basically, OC wants the value of personal data to be fully returned to the consumer. The organization is also seeking $50 million in punitive damages.
For comparison, Google made $200 million a day in 2021.
In a June 28 ruling, Judge Donald Bisson invoked image law jurisprudence to form the basis of the case.
“If a person sees their image being used for commercial purposes without their permission, that does not necessarily deprive them of the opportunity to use that image commercially themselves,” he wrote.
If a car is stolen from us, we basically no longer have a car, but if our data is ‘stolen’ we still have an identity, concludes Alexandre Plourde.
So it’s based on linking image rights that OC gave to Silicon Valley giant K.-O.
All Quebecers who have used the internet since June 2017 are automatically members of the class action lawsuit. Anyone wishing to follow the progress of the file can register on the Belleau Lapointe website.
And even Google knows that, of course.