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Dutch Court Throws Out Funded Collective Action Against Oracle and Salesforce

The Court of Amsterdam has dismissed a 10-billion-euro collective action lawsuit against Salesforce and Oracle brought on behalf of 75,000 claimants. The court found that the data privacy group that launched the case, The Privacy Collective, could not actually prove that it represents the interests of 75,000 Dutch citizens.  

The Privacy Collective claimed that Oracle and Salesforce violated the General Data Protection Regulation by collecting personal data without explicit consent, similar to claims that have been launched against Google and Facebook.

To join the claim, individuals simply had to click a button on the privacy group’s website that signified their support for taking the two tech companies to court. Interested individuals subsequently entered their email addresses.

The court ruled that this information was not sufficient enough for the group to claim they represent 75,000 claimants. According to the judge, clicking a button does not necessarily mean the individual was harmed by Oracle or Salesforce, and thus suitable to be included in the claim. Moreover, the group did not collect any contact details, so there is no way to know if the individuals are in fact Dutch citizens. 

The claim was backed by British litigation funder Innsworth, which is owned by New York-based hedge fund Elliot.  According to the Dutch Financial Times, the funder stood to make 10-25% of the total payout. 

The judge’s decision in this case was prudent and claim foundations will hopefully take heed when purporting to represent the interests of such a significant number of people.

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