Class-action lawsuit claims Google illegally collected personal data from United Kingdom users

Google in the UK

Richard Lloyd, a consumer advocate who is leading the case, said he wanted to "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".

The "Google You Owe Us" campaign has been launched Thursday by ex-Which?

The group believes those affected are eligible for compensation for violation of trust.

Safari is created to block tracking but default, but Google apparently bypassed this feature (the so called "Safari Workaround") to place cookies that gathered information on users and their habits so the search giant could deliver more targeted adverts.

When this news came out, Google insisted that this procedure only applied to its Google-Plus. Ultimately, the court ordered Google to pay off a $22.5 million penalty, almost the largest fine ever given by the Federal Trade Commission.

That's some fighting talk from Lloyd, but Google appears to be rather nonplussed by the class action.

Millions of iPhone users could be in line for compensation of at least £500 if a class action lawsuit against Google is successful.

The Safari workaround was apparently used on a number of devices, including the iPhone, during that period.

Lloyd said Thursday that Google's actions were "quite simply against the law".

According to The Verge, UK law firm Mischon de Reya is also on the case, working alongside the affected group helmed by Lloyd. Allegedly, between June of 2011 and February of 2012, the company used an exploit called the "Safari Workaround" to bypass iOS Safari privacy settings and collect user data. The move is the first mass legal action of this scale undertaken in the country. "We don't believe it has any merit and we will contest it", said a company spokesperson. In fact, Google was successfully sued in the US back in 2012 and 2013 for the very same reason and had to cough up $22.5 million to the US FTC and $17 million to 37 US states and the District of Columbia, respectively.

If you are thinking of buying a Google product this Christmas you may want to have second thoughts, with the big search Company facing court action for harvesting personal information after already settling out of court with several people who exposed the search Companies antics.

It is expected to be brought to court early next year, although no date has yet been set for a hearing.

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