Google Photos Class Action in Québec Derailed Off the Bat

The Québec Superior Court recently rejected a proposed class action involving Google Photos and the allege misuse of biometrics data resulting from this Google service. In the decision at issue, Homsy v. Google (2022 QCCS 722), the court refused to authorize the proposed class action, because the plaintiff failed to show he had even mere color of rights. In short, he failed to demonstrate that he had a case or, rather, what could be reasonably considered a real case.

Legally, the explanation of the rejection off hand of this (proposed) class action stems from the requirement that any such proceedings in Québec seem, at the very least, to hold water, if you will. To do so, the court should conclude, looking at the claim as presented, that if the alleged facts were true, then this case would justify a Québec court indeed awarding the remedy requested by that plaintiff.

Even though one might think this allows anyone to sue like this by alleging X, Y and Z, it is not so, as it could force unfounded and/or unworthy proceedings on the Québec justice system -something we collectively definitely do not need.

Indeed, jurisprudence is now teaching us that not mere allegations in initial proceedings (to institute a class action) may NOT suffice to allow a class action in Québec to stand. In effect, simply alleging a bunch of suppositions and theories isn’t sufficient to introduce a valid class action before Québec courts. You need more; maybe not tons more, but more. Thus, given the lack of even a modicum of evidence in the case at issue, the court agreed to throw it out (or, rather, refuse to authorize this class action against Google); this case simply did not pass muster. As cases such as this one demonstrate, even though Québec rules generally seek to facilitate class actions (as compared to your ordinary proceedings, anyway), you do need more than mere conjecture, theories, suppositions and inferences . If this is all you have initially (as was the case in Homsy), then the court may simply refuse to authorize your action -sorry.