Recently, the tech giant Google has been allegedly sued for track and collect clandestinely the personal information of 4.4 million iPhone users. According to The Guardian, the collective complaint seeks that the technology pays a fine of up to 3200 million pounds (about 4,290 million dollars).
OMG! Google Sued For Secretly Collecting Data Of 4.4 Million iPhone Users
The tech giant Google has been sued in the United Kingdom for allegedly track and collect clandestinely the personal information of 4.4 million iPhone users. According to The Guardian, the collective complaint seeks that the technology pays a fine of up to 3200 million pounds (about 4,290 million dollars).
The lawsuit filed in a superior court is headed by Richard Lloyd, who claims that Google ignored Safari’s browser privacy settings on iPhones between August 2011 and February 2012 in order to divide people into categories for Advertisers, such as “football lovers” or “current enthusiasts”.
The information collected by the tech giant Google included race, physical and mental health, political inclinations, sexuality, social and financial class, shopping, habits and location data, the lawyers of the group representing Lloyd, “Google You Owe Us”, said in court at the opening of a planned two-day hearing in London.
Hugh Tomlinson, one of the representatives of Lloyd’s group, explained that the data was collected through a “clandestine tracking and compilation” of navigation on the iPhone, known as the “Safari Solution.” This activity, he said, had already been exposed by a PhD researcher in 2012.
For that reason, Tomlinson said, the tech giant Google has paid 39.5 million to establish claims in the United States related to this practice. In 2012, the Federal Trade Commission of the United States fined the technological giant with 22.5 million dollars for this practice and forced it to pay 17 million dollars to 37 states in the country.
“I think what Google did was simply against the law,” Lloyd said at the hearing, according to the British media, adding:-
“Their actions have affected millions in England and Wales and we will ask the judge to ensure that they are held accountable in our courts”.
The class-action lawsuit seeks compensation of at least 1,000 million pounds for an estimated 4.4 million iPhone users. Google You Owe Us has requested at least 3,200 million pounds, which means that plaintiffs could receive 750 pounds per person if they win the trial.
According to Google, the kind of “representative action” that Lloyd has presented is inadequate and should not continue. The company’s lawyers assured that there is no suggestion that Safari Workaround has resulted in disclosure to third parties. They also pointed out that it is not possible to identify those that could have been affected and, therefore, the claim has no prospect of success.
The purpose of the lawsuit, said Anthony White, one of Google’s attorneys, is to pursue a campaign for accountability and retribution against the company, rather than seeking compensation for the people affected.
“The court should not allow a single person to opt for the data protection rights of millions of people for the purpose of moving forward on a personal ‘campaign’ agenda and should not allow them to hold people who do not wish to associate with that campaign to take positive steps to actively de-link from it,” White said.
For his part, the director of communications of Google in the United Kingdom, Tom Price, said that the case is related to events that occurred more than six years ago and that were attended at the time, and concluded:-
“We believe that it has no merit and should be discarded. We have submitted evidence in support of that opinion and we hope to present our case before the Court”.
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