All Quebecers who have used the Internet since 2017 can now hope to spit out a few thousand dollars from Google, accused of getting rich on their backs.
The Superior Court of Quebec has just authorized an action brought by Option consommateurs against the giant – US$76 billion in profit out of US$258 billion in revenue in 2021.
“We have just won a first round against a giant in a very important privacy dispute”, proudly launches Alexandre Plourde, lawyer and analyst at Option consommateurs (OC).
The company of Silicon Valley is accused of not obtaining enough consent from Internet users when it appropriates their data.
He is also accused of constantly tracking Internet users, whether they are on a Google site or service or elsewhere online. “The accumulation of our data never stops, wherever you are on the Internet”, illustrates the lawyer for OC, who entrusted the firm Belleau Lapointe with the task of representing the organization.
The dispute will revolve around the value of that personal data, which is no small task.
Basically, OC wants the value of personal data to be fully returned to the consumer. The organization is also asking for $50 million in punitive damages.
The judge innovates
By way of comparison, Google made US$200 million a day in profit in 2021.
In his judgment rendered on June 28, Judge Donald Bisson invokes the jurisprudence of image rights to form the basis of the case.
“When a person sees their image used for commercial purposes without their authorization, they are not necessarily deprived of the possibility of making commercial use themselves of this image,” he writes.
Basically, when we have a car stolen, we no longer have a car, but when we have our data “stolen” we have yet another identity, summarizes Alexandre Plourde.
So it is based on the link with image rights that OC hopes to knock out the Silicon Valley giant K.O. < /p>
All Quebecers who have used the Internet since June 2017 are automatically members of the class action. Those who want to follow the progress of the file can register on the Belleau Lapointe site.
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7128