Google faces UK class action over secret iPhone tracking

AFP Photo / Loic Venance

AFP Photo / Loic VenanceGoogle is embroiled in its biggest privacy battle yet in the UK over reportedly tracking users’ online habits. At least 10 UK citizens began legal action with dozens more lining up. According to media estimates up to 10 million Britons could join in.

Google is accused of evading security settings on Apple’s devices and Safari’s web browser in order to keep tabs on people’s online preferences.

This is the first group claim over privacy issues that the tech-giant is facing in the UK, the lawyer behind the action Dan Tench told The Guardian.

“It is particularly concerning how Google circumvented security settings to snoop on its users. One of the things about Google is that it is so ubiquitous in our lives and if that’s its approach, then it’s quite concerning,” Tench said.

On top of that there are plans in the works to launch an umbrella privacy action suit, which could potentially bring in millions of people in the UK.

Google executives reportedly received a letter from two users prior to the launch of legal proceedings.

The tech-giant is being sued for breaches of privacy and confidence, computer misuse and trespass, and breach of the Data Protection Act of 1998.

Claimants want Google to reveal how much data was secretly collected, for how long, and how the information is being used.

The point of the claim is not to make money off Google, but to send a message, argued a privacy campaigner working on the legal claims, Alexander Hanff.

“This lawsuit is about sending a very clear message to corporations that circumventing privacy controls will result in significant consequences. The lawsuit has the potential of costing Google tens of millions, perhaps even breaking 100 million pounds [US$15.7 million] in damages given the potential number of claimants – making it the biggest group action ever launched in the UK,” Hanff says.


RT has the full article

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