Google faces million-member lawsuit for Safari snooping

01 December, 2017, 05:37 | Author: Cecelia Webb
  • Google is facing legal action over allegations it unlawfully collected the personal information of millions of people across the UK

Richard Lloyd, who is now leading the fight against Google in the United Kingdom, told The Guardian that he wants to spread the word about Google's malpractices and send a message that people are not scared to fight back if their privacy is violated by rich Silicon Valley giants. Even if the case is successful, the people represented by Google You Owe Us are not expected to receive more than a few hundred pounds each, and this is not an amount that would make much of an impact on Google's coffers. The group alleges that roughly 5.4 million individuals were affected between 2011 and 2012, and could now be eligible for compensation. Safari devices are built to automatically block such cookies, thus the move shows a certain degree of premeditation on Google's part.

Google said the lawsuit was not new. In 2012, for example, Google paid $22.5m (£16.7m) to settle charges by America's Federal Trade Commission that it misled iPhone users over whether it was collecting their data. Lloyd told the BBC that Google had informed him he must "come to California" if he wanted to pursue legal action against them. But, the question on many people's lips is, will they respond to the UK's "Google you owe us" campaign?

The Safari workaround was apparently used on a number of devices, including the iPhone, during that period. The company allegedly used it between June 2011 and February 2012 to barrel past the iPhone's default privacy settings to install cookies and gather data about a consumer's browsing habits.

If you are thinking of buying a Google product this Christmas you may want to have second thoughts, with the big search Company facing court action for harvesting personal information after already settling out of court with several people who exposed the search Companies antics.

The case will reportedly be held in the High Court around spring 2018.

Lloyd toldThe Guardian: "I believe that what Google did was simply against the law".

Google is being taken to court over allegations it collected personal data of millions of unknowing iPhone users. "We don't believe it has any merit and we will contest it".

The case is the first time such a collective action - in which one person represents a group with a shared grievance, akin to a US-style class action - has been brought in Britain against a leading tech company over alleged misuse of data.



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