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- A group called “Google You Owe Us” is taking Google to court for the way in which it harvested data from people’s iPhones.
- The group claims that 5.4 million people in the UK were affected.
- The case is likely to be heard in spring 2018 at the High Court.
Google is being taken to court in the UK for allegedly bypassing iPhone privacy settings, the BBC reports.
The Californian tech giant is reportedly facing legal action for harvesting data from 5.4 million UK users in order to deliver targeted ads.
The court case has been brought about by a group called “Google You Owe us,” which is being led by former Which director Richard Lloyd.
Lloyd reportedly believes that users could get as much as “several hundred pounds” each if he wins. In such an event, Google could end up paying billions of dollars to UK users. Lloyd is being supported by law firm Mishcon de Reya, according to the BBC.
The case is complex but it centres on ‘an abuse of trust’
Google You Owe Us claims that Google placed ad-tracking cookies that can identity which websites you’ve been to on devices belonging to Safari users. Safari is a browser that blocks cookies by default.
According to Lloyd, Google then used the cookies to collect information that it could use to deliver more targeted ads.
The alleged activity, which became known as the Safari workaround, is reported to have taken place for several months in 2011 and 2012.
“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,” Lloyd reportedly said.
“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.”
Lloyd reportedly claims that Google said he must come to California to pursue legal action.
“It is disappointing that they are trying to hide behind procedural and jurisdictional issues rather than being held to account for their actions,” he reportedly said.
Google responded to the claims by saying in a statement: “This is not new – we have defended similar cases before. We don’t believe it has any merit and we will contest it.”
The case will reportedly be held in the High Court around spring 2018.