Google is currently being sued for tracking 4.4 Million users browsing data from bypassing Apple’s Safari browser privacy settings. The case is currently open and the company is being sued for £3.2 Billion. The class action suit is led by director Richard Lloyd who is currently claiming that Google bypassed the privacy settings of Apple’s Safari Browser to classify users into categories.
There will be a two-day hearing in London starting from Monday as lawyers from Llyod’s campaign said: “Google You Owe Us”. As the information collected by Google consists of Race, Mental and Physical health, Political ideology, sexuality, financial details, social class, shopping habits and location data.
Hugh Tomlinson QC who is currently representing Lloyd said: based on browser history Google has categorised users by putting them into groups such as “Football Lovers” and “Current Affairs Enthusiasts” for targeting and advertising. Tomlinson said that the data was collected using a workaround in Safari browser called “Clandestine tracking and Collation”. This activity was exposed by a PhD researcher in 2012. Since the discovery Lloyd said “I believe that what Google did was quite simply against the law. “Their actions have affected millions in England and Wales and we’ll be asking the judge to ensure they are held to account in our courts.”
The campaign group is currently thinking about a minimum of £1 Billion for 4.4 Million users. Every person who claims will receive £750 if the case was successful. Google lawyers said that there is no current suggestion in the Safari workaround which resulted in the data being available to the third parties. Furthermore, it is impossible to identify which users were affected by this workaround. Lloyds claim was to “pursue a campaign for accountability and retribution” against the company, rather than seek compensation for affected individuals.
Lloyd said “The court should not permit a single person to co-opt the data protection rights of millions of individuals for the purpose of advancing a personal ‘campaign’ agenda and should not allow them to place the onus on individuals who do not wish to be associated with that campaign to take positive steps to actively disassociate themselves from it.”
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