Google taken to court on data issues

Google is being taken to court on the accusation of collecting personal data from millions of users. This will be the first mass legal action of the sort, within the UK.

It will focus on allegations that unlawfully gathered information taken from 5.4million UK users, ignoring privacy settings on their iPhones.

The case was sparked by the knowledge that Google placed ad-directed cookies onto the safari app within iPhones, designed to block said cookies.

It has soon become known as ‘The Safari workaround’, as the UK case will directly focus on iPhone users, even though the cookies affected a variety of devices.

Google told the BBC: “This is not new – we have defended similar cases before. We don’t believe it has any merit and we will contest it.”

Those affected do not have to pay any legal fees as they will automatically be part of the claim, unless they wish to opt out. The UK doesn’t appear to be as demanding for a mass legal case as those across the pond in the US.

Google agreed to pay a record $22.5m (£16.8m) in a case brought by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on the same issue in 2012. The case will be heard in the High Court, probably in spring 2018.

On the topic of data, businesses need to be aware of the changing data laws coming into affect early next year. You can find out more here.

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