Google has been accused of snooping on iPhone users, and breaking the law.
Google may be forced to pay out £2.7 billion to over five million iPhone users in the UK, after being accused of unlawfully collecting data.
A consumer campaign called Google You Owe Us (GYOU) has launched a legal challenge against Google, claiming that the search engine unlawfully bypassed default security settings on iPhone devices to obtain personal data, between June 2011 and February 2012.
Around 5.4 million people in the UK are reported to have owned an iPhone during this period, according to former executive director of Which? and government advisor Richard Lloyd, who’s now leading the legal challenge against Google.
“I’ve rarely seen such a massive abuse of trust”
If the challenge is successful, and Google is obliged to pay out £2.7 billion in compensation, then the 5.4 million iPhone users affected could receive £500 each.
It’s purported that Google’s algorithms allowed it to trick people’s iPhones into releasing personal data from the phone’s default internet browser, Safari.
Mr Lloyd said: “I believe that what Google did was quite simply against the law. Their actions have affected millions, and we’ll be asking the courts to remedy this major breach of trust.
“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.
“In all my years speaking up for consumers, I’ve rarely seen such a massive abuse of trust where so many people have no way to seek redress on their own.
“That’s why I’ve taken on one of the biggest fights of my life in representing this legal action, which is the first case of its kind in the UK against a major tech company for misusing our valuable personal data.”
To find out more about the class action between Google You Owe Us and Google, you can visit the online campaign site, and sign up for email updates.