4.4 million iPhone users are suing Google over 'unlawful' data collection

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,387   +553
Staff member

A group called “Google You Owe Us” has filed a class action (also called a “representative action” in the UK) lawsuit against the search giant for 3.2 billion pounds ($4.29 billion US).

The organization is representing 4.4 million iPhone owners in the suit. The filing alleges that Google “unlawfully collected people’s personal information by bypassing Apple’s iPhone default privacy settings.” Information collected includes racial or ethnic origins, physical and mental health issues, political affiliations, sexuality, and social class.

The plaintiffs claim that the Alphabet subsidiary gathered data through the Safari browser, using a method known as the “Safari Workaround.” According to Fortune, the technique uses an algorithm that allows developers to bypass Safari’s default security settings, which block third-party tracking cookies.

However, Google is asking the court to dismiss the case. It claims that there is no evidence that it obtained information through the Safari Workaround or that any information was disclosed to a third-party by such means. It also contends that a representative action is unsuitable for this claim since it is impossible to identify if claimants have been affected by the alleged actions.

"The group said that Google used an algorithm that allowed developers to track a user’s browsing history and collect personal information."

Hugh Tomlinson, a lawyer for the group, argues that the unlawful activity was originally exposed in 2012 by a PhD researcher and that at that time Google settled claims in the US for $39.5 million. Tomlinson contends that for this reason, the lawsuit has merit.

According to the Independent, Anthony White, a lawyer representing the Mountain View, California company says the group’s suit was brought only to “pursue a campaign for accountability and retribution” against Google. In other words, Google You Owe Us director Richard Lloyd has a personal vendetta against the company.

“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.”

If the court sides with the plaintiffs and awards the full amount asked for, each litigant in the class action would receive around 750 pounds (about $1,000 US). The hearing is expected to last through tomorrow.

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alabama man

Posts: 563   +354
The compensation should be higher, changing name, address, car and all electronic devices costs more, I wouldn't trust them to erase the ill-gotten info. They probably use the info in their military projects so expect to be drone practice target. It doesn't matter if they gave it to a third party when they them selves are a purely harmful entity. I hope more people, corporations and even countries sue them.
 
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senketsu

I recently logged into Google to see what info turned up. On the desktop computer it showed little, but I was totally shocked that every single thing done on my Samsung Galaxy A5 android phone is recorded. I mean everything, with time, day and obviously linked to my name. I guess I naively thought there would be more like update and diagnostic stuff. If I could ditch the phone, I would, if I could afford an iPhone, I would switch. This data collection has gotten way, way out of hand.
 
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trparky

Posts: 719   +622
I guess I naively thought there would be more like update and diagnostic stuff.
Let's build an OS, build an ecosystem of apps and services that (naturally) people will want, give it away for free, and then sit back and watch as all of that juicy personal data comes rolling in. And people wonder why I've been saying that Android is Google's perfect spying Trojan horse. You carry it with you everywhere you go, it's the perfect little wiretap and people voluntarily buy them.

I will never use an Android device again, at least not until Google starts caring about our privacy and not just playing lip service to try and placate the masses.
 

CBTex

Posts: 72   +121
Title: Group of lawyers are suing Google to collect on behalf of 4.4 million iPhone users over 'unlawful' data collection

FIFY
 

Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,042   +624
It also contends that a representative action is unsuitable for this claim since it is impossible to identify if claimants have been affected by the alleged actions.
Just shows they don't get it. After reading that attitude, I really hope they are hit hard by the lawsuit.
 

regiq

Posts: 237   +113
I recently logged into Google to see what info turned up. On the desktop computer it showed little, but I was totally shocked that every single thing done on my Samsung Galaxy A5 android phone is recorded. I mean everything, with time, day and obviously linked to my name. I guess I naively thought there would be more like update and diagnostic stuff. If I could ditch the phone, I would, if I could afford an iPhone, I would switch. This data collection has gotten way, way out of hand.
Root/custom ROM, IP tables firewall (https://f-droid.org/packages/dev.ukanth.ufirewall/). Risky, but the only way to use a smartphone for privacy-minded. Apple is potentially the same, if you read into ToS or Snowden's info on PRISM.
 

BGrant

Posts: 30   +27
It's way overdue that governments should intervene in these corporations practices.
Their business models are shady, their terms and conditions are shady, absolutely nothing about them is transparent and/or easy to understand.

People need to stop thinking that their personal data is up for grabs and quit the "well, I have nothing to hide bruh" mentality
 
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