A US privacy class action alleges that cloud giant Oracle has collected comprehensive records on about 5 billion individuals.

One of the plaintiffs in the case [pdf] is Dr Jonny Ryan, Senior Fellow at the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) and former policy officer at Brave. The other two are Mike Katz-Lacabbe, director of research at the Center for Human Rights and Privacy, and Dr. Jennifer Golbeck, a professor in the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies.

They say they speak for all Internet users who have experienced Oracle’s privacy abuses.

The suit alleges that Oracle violated the US Federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the California Invasion of Privacy Act, the California State Constitution, competition law and common law.

According to ICCL, Oracle generates $42.4 billion annually from its monitoring.

It claims Oracle’s files on individuals include names, emails, residential addresses, online and offline purchases, physical movements, income, hobbies and political views, as well as a detailed record of online behavior.

The advocacy group claims that the Oracle Data Marketplace facilitates the global trade of records related to people.

The claim is supported by video of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison on the ICCL website, discussing how the company’s real-time machine learning system collects this data, validating the 5 billion profiles stored in the Oracle Data Cloud.

“Because we collect information about consumers and you combine that with their demographic profile and their previous buying behavior, we can do a pretty good job of predicting what they’re going to buy next,” Ellison says in the video.

Ryan said Oracle has breached the privacy of billions of people around the world.

“This is a Fortune 500 company on a dangerous mission to track where every person in the world goes and what they do.”

“We are taking this action to stop the Oracle surveillance machine,” he added.


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