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Google said to be in trouble for tracking millions of Apple iPhone users in the U.K.

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Google said to be in trouble for tracking millions of Apple iPhone users in the U.K.
Potentially millions of Apple iPhone users in the U.K. have had their mobile internet browsing tracked by Google. An estimated 10 million people could have the right to sue the Mountain View tech giant for disabling Apple's security settings on the different versions of the Safari browser used on the Apple iPhone, Apple iPad and on Apple's desktop PCs. Last February, Google was found to have stored cookies on people's devices even when the people did not want the information to be stored. At least 10 Apple iPhone users in the U.K. have started the legal battle and Dan Tench, the attorney who is behind the initial suits, says that another ten iPhone users are getting ready to file and a group is looking to form an umbrella privacy action against Google.

"This is the first time Google has been threatened with a group claim over privacy in the UK. It is particularly concerning how Google circumvented security settings to snoop on its users. One of the things about Google is that it is so ubiquitous in our lives and if that's its approach then it's quite concerning."-Dan Tench, attorney

Google has admitted that its DoubleClick mobile ad network stored information on user's computers without their consent. Lawyers for those claimants are asking Google to reveal what it did with the personal data it obtained, and also want to know how much data was actually taken. The claimants are suing Google for breaches of confidence and breach of privacy, computer misuse and trespass, and breach of the Data Protection Act of 1998. Last July, Google paid the FTC a $22.5 for a similar privacy breach that occurred in the U.S. between summer 2011 and spring 2012. The suits in the U.K. have the potential to break 100 million GBP ($157 million USD) in damages. which would set a record for the largest group action ever started in the U.K.

"This group action is not about getting rich by suing Google, this lawsuit is about sending a very clear message to corporations that circumventing privacy controls will result in significant consequences. The lawsuit has the potential of costing Google tens of millions, perhaps even breaking £100m in damages given the potential number of claimants – making it the biggest group action ever launched in the UK."-Alexander Hanff, privacy campaigner

source: Guardian, BusinessInsider via TUAW

19 Comments
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posted on 28 Jan 2013, 17:12 10

1. Whateverman (Posts: 3191; Member since: 17 May 2009)


I don't mind the tracking so much, but they have every right to sue if they are going around these security settings. Don't be evil guys!

posted on 28 Jan 2013, 17:27 1

2. Muzhhur (Posts: 245; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)


its Not about tracking, its about respect and Obviously Apple nor Google take that rule as a priority to keep in touch the costumers, they wanna know what would you think to make more monney, not to bring a better xperience... crappy!

posted on 28 Jan 2013, 17:40 3

3. haroonazeem638 (Posts: 127; Member since: 29 Mar 2011)


Seriously, I don't think many of us are important enough for big companies to track us for some "purpose" other than improving their system. I honestly love Google. I use all their services and I love how everything is connected. Implementation of Google Now is amazing. I go to work only on Weekends and it is ONLY then that Google Now automatically pops up in the notification bar to tell me about an hour or two before going to work that it will take "this long" to go to work. Google Now is just one example. I have nothing to complain.

posted on 29 Jan 2013, 00:55 1

17. jinxed (Posts: 107; Member since: 10 Jan 2013)


they are snoopin around so that they can sell ur data usages and stats to possible marketing companies.. Yes Google has done some amazing things, but collecting peronal data without consent is Wrong. What if the data gets into wrong hands.. Just imagine sum1 always standing behind u ,watching u,while u r online..that is exactly wat Google has done and it pretty much creeps me out!

posted on 29 Jan 2013, 04:21

18. loyals (Posts: 129; Member since: 10 Nov 2012)


if sumone sell your dairy withour your name on it , you may nothing to complain even den !

posted on 28 Jan 2013, 17:45 4

4. joey_sfb (Posts: 2866; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


I am also interested in what Google did with those data. Its always been a black box to me. I also support that Google should respect the law and the user wishes not to be tracked.

All coorperations need to be monitored and regulated no exception..

posted on 28 Jan 2013, 17:46

5. sprockkets (Posts: 1159; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


Let's just hope the UK aren't as stupid as the FTC was and fine google for apple's stupid webkit error that allowed it to happen in the first place. FYI google submitted a fix for the problem to webkit but apple never accepted it.

They can have all the cookies they want; it'll show practically nothing.

posted on 28 Jan 2013, 17:54 1

6. wendygarett (unregistered)


I used to worry Google keep tracking me, but not anymore after I got my 1st android device...

but that doesnt mean Google can just simply track people tho... coz sometimes i need a very serious privacy to connect someone, that's the reason why I'm still holding ios devices :(

posted on 28 Jan 2013, 18:16 4

7. ahhxd717 (Posts: 317; Member since: 08 Dec 2011)


While I like Google and love Android, some of their practices are fishy. Those people should rightfully be able to prosecute Google. Like someone said above, all companies need to be equally regulated.

posted on 28 Jan 2013, 18:19

8. lyndon420 (Posts: 1729; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Whatever...this is the digital age and it's the price of progress. Google doesn't need money so its unlikely they are using anyone's credit card info etc. Let them track me...I don't care. Besides...I'm not a terrorist with a bomb plot stored on my phone or PC so what info are they really getting that would ruin the lives of anyone? Apple did it as well and I wouldn't be surprised if ms is doing it also. Pffft.

posted on 28 Jan 2013, 18:28 1

9. lyndon420 (Posts: 1729; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


If it goes to trial and they get $157 million that works out to less than $16/person...not that big a deal. The lawyer takes his fee and that actually leaves what per person? The only one who really cares about this is the lawyer.

posted on 28 Jan 2013, 18:44

10. letgomyeggroll (Posts: 137; Member since: 13 Jun 2012)


So what is the difference what Google is doing and what Apple does? Apple's devices collect data from it users all day long.

It seems like Apple doesnt like another company modifying there settings and cant do anything about it.

posted on 28 Jan 2013, 18:54 1

11. GoBears (Posts: 341; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)


Another stupid lawsuit... As usual, the only ones that are going to benefit are the damn lawyers yet again.

posted on 28 Jan 2013, 18:59

12. lubba (Posts: 1310; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


Should it matter? Apparently not. People love sharing/giving info to Google. And they will surely sly their way out of this easily as they did in the US.

posted on 28 Jan 2013, 22:28

13. milesboy5 (Posts: 145; Member since: 07 Nov 2012)


I like how google paid only 22.5 dollars in between 2011-2012 seems like a small amount to pay the FTC for a privacy breach dont ya think??

posted on 28 Jan 2013, 22:48 2

14. MartianMe (unregistered)


yeah!! f**k the lawyers and i love google but if this was intentionally it is kinda of messed up...and they should learn a lesson for that.

posted on 28 Jan 2013, 23:02

15. XPERIA-KNIGHT (Posts: 2419; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)


it will be intresting to know what google did with the data.........Right now i agree with the apple users that they deserve their privacy, also right now I dont know why google would do what they did but we'll see if they really crossed the line or not by what was done with the data...

if anything bad was done then hopefuly google learns not to "tinker" around with peoples privacy anymore

posted on 28 Jan 2013, 23:39

16. samystic (Posts: 189; Member since: 25 Mar 2012)


that's why i don't own an Android / iOS based device... big companies DO NOT respect our privacy... look at True Caller! it has stored my no. in spite of multiple requests to delete it... have i used it? never! someone else has used it and my no. is all over the world!

google deserves a heavy penalty!

posted on 29 Jan 2013, 09:52

19. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 852; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


The problem is no matter what device you have its made by a big company. The important thing is that we show that we won't stand for it for it with actions like this in England.

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