The fact that many Google products can only be used with the consent of the home page user under data protection law needs to be repeated regularly, but is not really new for people involved in data protection. More interesting are the court’s comments on the plaintiff’s claim for damages. The claim is based on Article 82 of the GDPR and the court interprets recital 146 as meaning that the term “damage” must be interpreted broadly.
In its decision, the court also refers to the legal question of whether damage must exceed a materiality threshold and whether there can thus be no claim for damages for so-called minor damage. According to the court, this question was not relevant to the decision, as the discomfort caused by the transmission of the IP address to Google was so substantial that a claim for damages in the amount of €100.00 was justified. The court justifies this, among other things, by stating that Google is known to collect data about its users.
This statement in particular is extremely relevant for data protection practice. It is often argued that the disclosure of IP addresses is not associated with any real disadvantages for the persons concerned and therefore constitutes a venial misconduct. However, this viewpoint is now no longer tenable, especially in the case of data being passed on to Google.