Internet giant Google faces new allegations that it tracked millions of UK iPhone users and their Internet habits.
If legal action is taken over the firm’s alleged avoidance of Apple security settings, Google could feel the wrath of up to ten million Brits who use Apple products, including the iPhone, iPad and also desktop versions of its Safari browsser.
The Guardian has reported over 70 UK iPhone users have already started legal proceedings according to the lawyer responsible for the action, Dan Tench.
He said: “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.”
Judith Vidal-Hall, the privacy campaigner and former editor of Index on Censorship and one other unnamed user have sent a letter before action to executives at Google. with more than a hundred more people reported to be preparing to launch proceedings.
This is not the first time Google has been challenged over privacy concerns.
The search engine was hit with a $22.5m (£14m) fine by the Federal Trade Comission (FTC) in August of last year – issued because the FTC ruled Google deliberately ignored cookie protection in the Apple browser, Safari. Google itself always denied any such wrongdoing.
Cookies are small files within Internet browsers, which helps to track visitors activities to give more relevant Internet marketing services to the browser. When visiting a site, it is now very common to see a disclaimer at the top of the page warning you that, by continuing to use the site, you are agreeing for the company to use them.
Prior to that, in March 2011, issues over the firm’s Buzz social network saw Google punished with 20 years of independent audits of its privacy policies.
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