Privacy is a major concern these days. Especially when it comes to nation-wide demands. There has been so many news up each day about the same concern. This time however, it is Google, the tech giant which is being the target for the moment.
It so appears that the multinational search company has been hit with a privacy lawsuit over claims that it quietly tracked millions of iPhone users in the UK. The litigation is being brought by campaign group ‘Google You Owe Us’, which is seeking up to £3.2 billion for 4.4 million iPhone users.
Interestingly, if the aforementioned group manages to win against Google in the court, each individual could bag £750.
‘Google You Owe Us’
It has come into notice that a collective, calling itself ‘Google You Owe Us’, headed by the former ‘Which?’ director, Richard Lloyd has filed a complaint against Google in court, alleging the tech giant that between August 2011 and February 2012, Google illegally obtained personal data from Apple’s handsets by bypassing the devices’ privacy settings.
Until now, we always heard such a thing and action conducted by the social media giant, Facebook, which makes this case all the more interesting.
As per the allegations by the group, the personal information Google obtained from millions of iPhone users, included their racial or ethnic origin, physical and mental health, political affiliations or opinions, sexuality and sexual interests and social class.
Not just this, the information about their financial situation, shopping habits and their geographical location were also obtained. The information was then “aggregated” and users were put into groups such as “football lovers” or “current affairs enthusiasts” and were later offered to marketers to use for their targeted advertising campaigns.
How Much Does Google Owe if it Loses?
Invasion of privacy has always been a major source of resent. Since past some time, the court has recognised this act as undebatably wrong, if proven guilty.
The lawyers representing Google You Owe Us have been putting in information and stances to make Google pay for what it did. As per them, some 4.4 million iPhone users are believed to have been affected.
It hopes to win compensation of at least £1 billion, however, court filings reveal the collective is looking for a maximum payout of £3.2 billion, which amounts to each individual bagging possibly £750 if the case is successful.
According to “Google You Owe Us,” approximately 5.4 million individuals were affected between 2011 and 2012 or a million more than is being reported above. That works out to a maximum of £592.59 (US$728.83) per victim.
Individuals who meet the criteria can answer yes to the following:
a) Were you at any time between 1 June 2011 and 15 February 2012 present in England and Wales and whilst present:
i) Did you have an Apple ID?
ii) Did you own or were you in lawful possession of an iPhone?
iii) Did you use the Safari browser to access the internet?
iv) Did you keep the default security settings in the Safari browser?
v) Did you not opt-out of tracking and collation via Google’s “Ads preference Manager”?
b) Were you resident in England and Wales on 31 May 2017?