In the recent court decision in the United Kingdom, the Court of Appeals have now approved the case filed by Richard Lloyd against Google, a huge company based in the United States, after the tech company allegedly collected information from iPhone users through illegal means.
This court decision comes after an earlier decision from a different court dismissed the case. Now that the Court of Appeals have overturned the decision, the case against Google which is worth more than £3.2 billion can now proceed with the legal proceedings. If Richard Lloyd can prove that indeed Google did something illegal and win the case, the amount mentioned above can be divided into the 4 million users of iPhone whose information was allegedly illegally collected and used for profit by Google. This would give each person more or less £750.
How were the information illegally obtained?
The alleged illegal collation and gathering of information was first discovered by PhD researcher in 2012. Apparently, Google bypassed Apple’s iPhone privacy settings and collected data when the user uses the Safari internet browser, also known as the Safari Workaround.
Google tracked the shopping habits, search history, financial status, as well as their location through the Browser generated information or BGI. The collected data were then grouped and organized to reflect the interest of the user. For example, they might be grouped into “rugby enthusiast”, “wine lover”, and others.
Allegedly, these organized data were then offered to third parties so they can target these specific users for their marketing campaigns. In the United States, Google has already doled out $39.5 million to settle claims for the same alleged illegal activity.
How to know if you are one of the affected users of the illegal data collection
This case was brought by Google You Owe Us campaign which is led by the consumer Champion, Mr. Richard Lloyd. They are still looking for more affected users. To know if you are one of them, you must pass these criteria:
- You were a resident or was living in England and/or Wales during or in between June 1, 2011 to February 15, 2012 time frame.
- You are the legal owner of an iPhone and has an Apple ID.
- You used the Safari browser to explore or connect to the internet.
- You declined the “Ads preferences manager” by Google.
If you believe that you passed the criteria, then you can still enroll in the case through this website and have a share of the compensation when and if the case succeeds.
After the favorable decision was handed down by the Court of Appeals, Mr. Lloyd is hopeful that they can get at least £1 billion to compensate the users whose BGI were collected without their consent and knowledge.
He also hopes that this ruling would be a strong statement to big companies that they can be held liable for their illegal wrong doings.
The lawyers of Google on the other hand stands firm in their belief that the “representative action” brought against them should not go ahead and that they plan to take this case to the Supreme Court.