Google Sued Over Illegal Data Collection
Google faces U.K. suit over alleged snooping on iPhone’s users by a group named ‘Google You Owe Us’, over Safari Browser breach
On November 30, 2017, a lawsuit is filed in London’s High Court, alleges Google, for illegal collection of data of over five million iPhone users in the U.K. A campaign group called ‘Google You Owe us’ says the tech giant owes consumers “trust, fairness, and money”.
“Through this action, we will send a strong message to Google and other tech giants in Silicon Valley that we’re not afraid to fight back if our laws are broken,” said Richard Lloyd, a former director of consumer body. He further added, “He has rarely seen such a massive abuse of trust where so many people have no way to seek redress on their own”.
The lawsuit filed against Google is related to its illegal collection of personal data by bypassing privacy settings on iPhone’s Safari Browser. In 2012, several online advertising networks, including Google and Facebook, were caught for using a workaround to bypass limitations, which led to display of cookies even if they are blocked by the user. Google paid US$ 22.5 million fine for the same Safari privacy breach. At that time, it was one of the highest fines administered by the Federal Trade Commission.
According to EU, consumers are required to be asked for permission before cookies are installed on their devices and used to transfer their data.
However, Google denies that it acted unlawfully, and says that it had defended similar cases in the past. The company said, “We don’t believe it has any merit and we will contest it.”
The lawsuit is filed on behalf of around 5.4 million iPhone users in the U.K., who could have been affected lately.
The group said, this is the first collective action taken against such a major tech company for exploitation of personal data of the consumers. The lawsuit is expected to be brought to court early in 2018, however, no date has yet been set for a hearing.
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