U.K. lawsuit against Google over iPhone privacy reinstated

What you need to know

  • A U.K. representative action (class action) against Google has been reinstated by the U.K. Court of Appeal .
  • Judges had previously thrown the case out claiming no "damage" had been suffered.
  • Case concerns Google's alleged collection of data of 4 million iPhone users between June 2011 and February 2012.

A lawsuit in the U.K. filed against Google over claims it illegally accessed the details of iPhone users has today been reinstated by the U.K Court of Appeal in London. The action, filed in 2017, revolves around Google, who allegedly used a backdoor method to install cookies on iPhones, even if they were blocked in Safari settings. It is purported that this affected more than 4 million iPhone users.

The suit was raised by Richard Lloyd, who is the former director of consumer rights group Which? Three judges ruled that the decision in 2018 by the U.K. High Court to dismiss the case was wrong, and that the claimant was now free to serve legal papers on Google in the US.

According to Bloomberg, in the ruling Judge Geoffrey Vos said:

"This case, quite properly if the allegations are proved, seeks to call Google to account for its allegedly wholesale and deliberate misuse of personal data without consent, undertaken with a view to a commercial profit.

As noted, if the case is proved in court against Google, it could turn out to be quite the legal upset. It could also result in the 4 million or so users affected recieving an equal payout from Google as compensation.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9