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The Big Enterprise Oracle is Being Accused of Violating Data Privacy

Simon Coulthard August 26, 2022

1-minute read

The big enterprise Oracle was accused of violating the fundamental privacy rights of hundreds of millions of people in a class action lawsuit filed last week in the Northern District of California. 

By operating the "worldwide surveillance machine", this business is on a risky mission that monitors everyone's whereabouts and activities.

With the privacy of billions of people worldwide having been breached by Oracle, the complaint's main points center on claims that Oracle gathers enormous amounts of data from unaware Internet users without their consent.

It uses this surveillance intelligence to profile people, further enriches profiles via its data marketplace, and badly jeopardizes their privacy, including, per the allegations, by using proxies for sensitive data to get around privacy controls.

This action is being taken to disable Oracle's surveillance machine.

The crucial point is that the United States doesn’t have a comprehensive federal privacy law, making it difficult for the litigation to present a privacy argument. As a result, the complaint makes numerous references to federal, constitutional, and state laws, attesting violations of the Federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Constitution of the state of California, the California Invasion of Privacy Act, as well as common law and competition law.

A few years ago, the company and Salesforce were both facing class action lawsuits for their surveillance of web users in Europe. These lawsuits aimed to challenge the legitimacy of their consent to do so, citing the region's strict data protection and privacy laws. 

According to reports, a Dutch court declared the class action lawsuit inadmissible last year, after concluding that the not-for-profit presenting it had failed to establish that it represented the injured parties and had no legal standing.

While the UK branch of the case was put on hold until the resolution of an earlier class-action-style privacy lawsuit against Google, the UK Supreme Court supported the tech company last year, stymieing the possibilities of other similar lawsuits.

The effort by digital rights experts to test such claims in the US is likely, due to the difficulties of bringing privacy class actions in Europe.

As a result of many companies breaking the law, heavy fines have been imposed on those who violate data privacy regulations. According to an estimate by Atlas VPN, GDPR fines reached a total of €97.29 million in the first half of 2022, a 92% rise over the first half of 2021.

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