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After Qualcomm, now Google finds itself in the hot waters. Consumer group "Google You Owe Us" has started a class action against the search engine giant, accusing it of illegally harvesting personal information from over five million iPhone users to target them with more relevant ads.
The allegations further claim that Google misused the privacy setting as part of the saga called "Safari Workaround". The company is said to have used a method to bypass Safari browser settings to enable tracking cookies in order to target iPhone users with advertising. According to the group, approximately 5.4 million consumers could be owned at least several hundreds of pounds each as a compensation.
The group estimates that Google would eventually have to agree to a bill of around 2.7 billion pounds ($3.3 billion).
Richard Lloyd, who used to be the executive director and Government adviser of Which?, and one of the people leading the anti-Google class action, claims that Google has violated Section 4 of the Data Protection Act 1998. So the Section 13 of the same act gives the customers right to ask for compensation.
Lloyd says that once the class action status gets approved, customers would be able to fill in an online form, provide their details. After that, customers will be eligible for a fixed compensation as part of the lawsuit.
"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. 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," he explained.
"I want to spread the word about our claim. 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," he added further.
Google is yet to speak a word on this matter.