Google is currently embroiled in a privacy dispute, where it has been accused of unlawfully collecting data from 5.4 million UK iPhone users.
Google has been charged been charged to court for bypassing the privacy settings and abusing trust. This grievance is led by the Google You Owe Us Group, championed by Richard Lloyd, who claims that each user could receive as much as £700 as compensation.
While Google has defended its actions on what it’s been accused of, saying they had previously defended similar cases, the chief proponent of the group, Mr. Lloyd expressed his disappointment by alleging that Google is ‘trying to hide behind procedural and jurisdictional issues rather than being held to account for their actions’. He said further that they have requested for his presence in California if he wants to pursue the case legally.
Mr. Lloyd said:
‘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. 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.’
As the tech giant told the BBC, the case with privacy-invasion allegations against them is not new. The tech giant had been entangled in a similar saga, sometime in 2013 when it unlawfully collected data including emails, usernames, passwords, images, and documents from 30 countries between 2008 and 2010. It paid a fine and the matter was closed.
Google’s Gmail promised not to peek through user’s settings but went ahead to bypass security settings in iPhone to enable them to have access to users’ data and privacy. This is a breach of trust.
In 2012, a similar case of privacy invasion had Google being fined $22.5m in a case with the US Federal Trade Commission.
Google has told the BBC that they are ready to contest the case which is likely to be heard in the High Court in 2018.