Google is facing legal action over allegations it unlawfully collected the personal information of millions of people across the UK.
The group taking the tech giant to court – in what is the first representative action of its kind against a major tech company in the UK – is called ‘Google You Owe Us’ and is led by former executive director of Which? Richard Lloyd. They are seeking compensation for those affected.
The case centres on the period between June 2011 and February 2012 where Google allegedly collected the information of around 5.4m people by bypassing the default privacy settings on the Apple iPhone. It is accused of doing this by using algorithms to trick the devices into releasing data from the phone’s Safari default browser – a process which has since been dubbed the ‘Safari Workaround’.
“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,” said Lloyd. “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… Google owes all of those affected fairness, trust and money. By joining together, we can show Google that they can’t get away with taking our data without our consent, and that no matter how large and powerful they are, nobody is above the law.”