Google DeepMind Cleared of Health Data Misuse Allegations as UK Court Dismisses Class Action Lawsuit

Google has recently won a case in the UK after a London court dismissed a lawsuit filed against the tech giant and DeepMind, a subsidiary of Google focused on artificial intelligence. The case involved allegations that patient medical records were unlawfully used by DeepMind without the knowledge or consent of the 1.6 million individuals affected. The plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit seeking damages for privacy violations, but the case was dismissed on the grounds that it did not meet the criteria for a representative action as it was bound to fail on a group basis. The judge found it difficult to identify viable claims among the members of the group.

This is not the first time that claims for privacy violations have failed in the UK. A similar case against Google was dismissed by the Supreme Court back in 2021. As a result, UK citizens have very few options for obtaining redress for data misuse. The lack of a clear route for UK citizens to bring class action lawsuits for privacy violations means legal claims for damages as individuals are prohibitively expensive.

However, with the European Union passing a collective bailout directive in 2020, which is due to come into force next month, there may be changes on the horizon. The law aims to strengthen consumer rights by making it easier for citizens within the bloc to file representative action and class action lawsuits for violations of their rights. Another change to EU product liability rules aims to make it easier for people to sue for damages caused by software and AI systems, including violations of fundamental rights such as privacy.

Despite these potential developments, UK citizens still face significant legal uncertainty for privacy class action lawsuits and the cost risks have led litigation funders and insurers to bear this risk. The lack of options means that filing a complaint with the country’s privacy regulator in the hope of giving meaningful sanctions to rule-breakers is not a surefire path to success for Britons.

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