Google faces mass legal action for tracking iPhone users in the UK – could you be entitled to compensation?
In the largest ever mass legal action case in the UK, Google may be forced to cough up to millions of consumers
Google is facing the largest ever mass legal action from privacy campaigners in the UK for reportedly tracking millions of iPhone users without their consent.
Led by former Which? director Richard Lloyd, the claim accuses Google of breaking data protection laws and is demanding at least £1 billion in compensation, but this figure could rise to £2.7 billion.
Last week we reported Google admitted to tracking Android users’ locations in the background. Today, allegations that Google knowingly tracked millions of iPhone users and violated their privacy has surfaced.
According to the Google You Owe Us campaign, Google placed cookies on the iPhone web browser from June 2011 to February 2012 and took advantage of a hole in Safari which enabled them to harvest users’ data. Now, the company is being taken to court over the allegations in the UK and could be forced to pay 5.4 million British iPhone users.
“Through this action, we will send a strong message to Google and other tech giants in Silicon Valley that we are not afraid to fight back if our laws are broken,” Richard Lloyd told the Times. “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.”
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The Safari Workaround, as it was more commonly known, allowed Google to bypass default privacy restrictions and install cookies on consumers’ iPhones without consent.
Last year, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that consumers had the right to sue Google over the misuse of privacy settings.
Anyone who meets the below criteria will automatically be a part of the class-action lawsuit. If the claim is successful, you’ll be asked to provide proof.
- Present in England and Wales between 1 June 2011 and 12 February 2012
- Owned or was in possession of an iPhone at the time
- Had an Apple ID at that time
- Used the Safari browser to access the internet
- Did not opt out of being tracked via Google’s ads
- Kept the default security settings in the Safari browser
- Resident in England and Wales on 31 May 2017
If this case is successful, it will be the largest bill paid to consumers in UK history. In the US, Google was forced to pay $22.5 million based on the same issue in 2012 which was brought about by the Federal Trade Commission.