back to article Oracle and Salesforce targeted in €10bn GDPR lawsuit backed by profit-making litigation fund

Salesforce and Oracle are to face a GDPR lawsuit in London and the Netherlands that could cost them up to €10bn in fines, a legally aggressive privacy campaign group has claimed to The Register. The suit, which alleges the ad-tech subsidiaries of the American giants are in breach of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation …

  1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    Meh

    I feel dirty saying this

    but good on them! I disagree with the method as "for profit litigation" is just plain wrong, its just another form of ambulance chasing.

    Feel used and dirty :(

    1. nematoad Silver badge

      Re: I feel dirty saying this

      I don't think that the participants in the Bates v Post Office trials would agree with you.

      In that case it was only by using such tactics that the Justice For Sub-postmasters Alliance were able to demonstrate the appalling way the Post Office treated its sub-postmasters and the consequences that that caused.

      Yes, "guns for hire" companies often look shady and mercenary but if they are the tools available then that's what you use.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I feel dirty saying this

        Of the £57.7 Million paid out in the Horizon scandal, how much of that did Therium trouser? Above and beyond legal costs? I guesstimate around £43Million. Hardly fair.

        1. nematoad Silver badge

          Re: I feel dirty saying this

          No, I agree, it's not fair.

          The alternative would be to have no settlement at all and that would be even less fair.

          Something, however small, is better than nothing.

      2. sitta_europea

        Re: I feel dirty saying this

        [quote]Yes, "guns for hire" companies often look shady and mercenary but if they are the tools available then that's what you use.[/quote]

        Well I tried to agree with you, I really did, but it still felt too dirty so I couldn't. You see I have some experience of these litigation companies. One of them in particular.

        I come from what was in my childhood a small mining village in Derbyshire. My grandfather had to retire from the mines early because he got a disease called pneumoconiosis, common among miners, and in 1962 he died of it, aged 63. That was three days before my ninth birthday and I can still remember the home nurse standing in the kitchen and telling us he'd died. It was the first time I'd known aybody who died.

        The government created a fund to compensate miners and their families who had suffered from such causes, and my family was approached by a firm which said it would pursue a claim from the fund on her behalf. To protect the innocent I'll call the firm Irwin Mitchell of Sheffield.

        Just fill in a simple form and we'll do the rest.

        Well "the rest" turned out to be booking as much time as possible to the case file so that they could claim the maximum cash from the government fund FOR THEMSELVES, and as far as I can tell the miners could go fuck themselves. The firm repeatedly ignored contact from the family, except, in answer to every inquiry, for sending ANOTHER copy of the SAME form asking for it to be filled in.

        By the time I was 30. although I did not know it, they were apparently still asking for the form to be completed and my grandmother would be reduced to tears if my mother just mentioned the form. Later I remembered other retired miners in the village saying things like "I can't be bothered with it". We were all poor - according to some league table or other we were the third poorest village in the country - and at the time I didn't understand why they wouldn't bother claiming money that had been put there especially for them.

        By the time I was 40 my grandmother had died, my mother had taken over the form-filling and Irwin Mitchell were still asking for the form to be completed. I still did not know what they were doing.

        Not long before my mother died the correspondence passed to me. So I discovered what had been going on, and terminated it in writing. A partner from the firm then had the cheek to try to call me, to persuade me to keep them on. I refused to speak to him and said that from now on everything between Irwin Mitchell and my family would have to be in writing only. I still have all the correspondence, and the forms, in my filing cabinet. The family never received a penny from the fund that was supposed to be for their benefit.

        I still loathe these ambulance-chasing lawyers with an almost deranged passion. All they ever did for the women in my family was add more misery to the already almost unbearable burden of the untimely loss of a husband and father. Writing this brings back awful memories and almost chokes me but I want *everybody* to know what these parasites will do to people to make their profits.

      3. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

        Re: I feel dirty saying this

        In the US the only ones who make any money on a class action suit are the lawyers! They take their fees and expenses then divide the rest among the participants. This is why they try to get as many as they can. The more the participants, the more fees and expenses they can rack up.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Re: I feel dirty saying this

      I'd be very careful about giving organizations the right to file suits "for profit". I personally feel that this will inevitably lead to abuse of a mechanism that is designed to protect other organizations. Rather like the patent troll organizations you see demanding ransom from other companies, because they alledgedly intruded on some IP the troll owns.

  2. iron Silver badge

    > Salesforce told us: "We design and build our services with privacy at the forefront...

    Bull. Last year my employer looked into switching to Salesforce so I trialled their dev environment only to find it does not work in Firefox or Brave because their default privacy protections prevent Salesforce's tracking cookies from working and that breaks mostly everything. I was unable to do even simple customisations and since some non-technical twat on the board was going to insist on picking Salesforce I left the job.

  3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Isn't Red...

    Isn't red the color of blood oozing out. May the EU kill the Minions and bankrupt Leisure Suit Larry (prison is a better place with a couple of hungry wild boars as cell mates for Larry, but I don't think they can nail him on a criminal charge). With regards to Salesfarce, I have no direct experience with but do not generally trust the frauds who purvey Spyware-as-a-Service, especially ones run by a junior Leisure Suit Larrys.

  4. Mark #255
    Headmaster

    #insert princess_bride_clip014.jpg

    [...] Despite Oracle's fulsome explanation[...]

    fulsome, adj: "expressing a lot of admiration or praise for someone, often too much, in a way that does not sound sincere"

    Synonyms: oily, oleaginous, smarmy, unctuous.

    source: Cambridge dictionary

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: #insert princess_bride_clip014.jpg

      Whenever I see "unctious" I immediately feel the need to start reciting random priest names...

      Fr Spodo Comodo?

      Fr Johnny Hellsapoppin?

      Fr Stig Bubblecard?

      etc. etc.

  5. grizewald

    The problem with being tracked like this

    is contained nicely in this paragraph from the article:

    Salesforce told us: "We design and build our services with privacy at the forefront, providing our corporate customers with tools to help them comply with their own obligations under applicable privacy laws – including the EU GDPR – to preserve the privacy rights of their own customers.

    Let's see now. I'm not Salesforce's customer and I'm probably not the customer of Salesforce's customer either. All I am is someone to profile.

    As I have no relationship with either Salesforce, Salesforce's customers or their customer's customers, I cannot be asked for consent. Without any form of consent then tracking me must be something done without my express or implied consent. Even if I might be deemed to be a customer of Salesforce's customer by agreeing to the terms and conditions of using a particular web site, I always make sure that I do not consent to passing my data to third-parties. If Salesforce track me to other web sites that I'm not a customer of, they really have no legal right whatsoever to collect data about me on that site and add it to my profile.

    Like other commentards, I'm not exactly in love with the idea of ambulance chasers, but if this is what it takes to rein in this kind of surveillance capitalism, then I'm all for it.

    1. Nunyabiznes

      Re: The problem with being tracked like this

      Upvote for "surveillance capitalism".

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: The problem with being tracked like this

        Big Brother is watching YOU - so he can SELL YOU STUFF

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: The problem with being tracked like this

      And, I'm assuming, that now that Privacy Shield is now null and void, that Saleforce and Oracle are keeping the data 100% in the EU and not providing it to entities outside the EU, without the written consent of those being profiles (or in their CRM databases, for that matter).

      And, no, standard contract clauses aren't any better, they still don't guarantee that the data won't be passed on to US authorities without an EU warrant (E.g. US warrant, FISA court, NSLs etc.).

  6. CAPS LOCK

    Hmm, is there any way for both side to...

    ... lose?

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