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Google Sued by 4.4 Mn iPhone Users For Collecting Safari Browser Data

Image for Representation

Image for Representation

Google might face massive fines in an ongoing lawsuit in the UK.

Google is facing a lawsuit in the UK which could result in the tech giant paying up to $4.4 Billion if the prosecutors win the case against the company. Google has been sued for allegedly violating the privacy of around 4.4 Million iPhone users between 2011 and 2012 through its "Safari Workaround". The prosecutor group, identifying itself as 'Google You Owe Us' has sued Google for unlawfully collecting the personal data of its members by bypassing Apple iPhone's privacy settings. As per the lawsuit, Google, through its "Safari Workaround", was able to bypass the default privacy settings on the Safari browser of Apple iPhones and collect browser data of the users without their consent.

The practice was first discovered in the middle of 2012 by a researcher at the Stanford University. At the time, Google had agreed to pay $17 Million to around 37 states as a settlement for the case in 2013. It then again paid $22.5 Million in fine to Federal Trade Commission for its unlawful data tracking. The 'Google You Owe Us' group is demanding Google to pay the affected users in Pounds if the case is won by them. As per reports, the group met Google representatives for the first time in court on Monday. The court documents also hint that the 4.4 Million affected users might receive $1000 each from Google as a settlement.

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The Guardian reports that Google asked the court to dismiss the case right away as there is no way to determine if the Safari Workaround affected the iPhone users or not. Tom Price, communications director for Google UK said: “The privacy and security of our users is extremely important to us. This case relates to events that took place over six years ago and that we addressed at the time. We believe it has no merit and should be dismissed. We’ve filed evidence in support of that view and look forward to making our case in Court.”

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