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iPhone users to receive damages from Google after changes to data privacy law

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A recent case against Google for alleged illegal data harvesting could see iPhone users get compensation for this privacy violation.

The announcement follows a mass legal action against the tech giant. This 'representative action' was launched after claims that Google used cookies on Apple's Safari web browser to collect data about its users between 2011 and 2012. The data included info about racial and ethnic origin, physical and mental health, political affiliations and opinions, sexuality and sexual interests, and social class.

It is alleged that Google then used this information to sell a targeted advertising service.

But, following a ruling at the Court of Appeal, more than 4 million iPhone users are now set to receive £750 each in compensation for this privacy infringement.

What is a representative action?

A representative action is a type of group action. Representative actions are launched when a group of people are affected by the same issue and have experienced the same level of harm (e.g. having their email address stolen and data privacy violated). In representative actions, one solicitor will represent all clients. In addition, one member of the action will typically sue on behalf of themselves and the rest of the group.

Why this case is really important

Crucially, this case has huge implications for individuals and their data privacy rights.

This is because, until now, people were only entitled to compensation if a data breach caused them financial loss, physical harm, or emotional distress.

But now, people can claim regardless of whether the breach had any unfortunate results. People can also seek compensation even if the only personal information breached was their email address. So, if a company does not protect your data in the way it is legally obliged to do, you can make a claim for this data privacy failure.

Are you eligible for iPhone compensation?

To be eligible for the £750 compensation you must:

  1. Have been in England and Wales at any time between June 1, 2011 and February 15, 2012
  2. Had an Apple ID
  3. Owned or have lawful possession of an iPhone
  4. Used the Safari browser to access the internet
  5. Kept the default browser settings
  6. Have not opted-out of tracking and collation via Google's 'Ads preference manager'
  7. Have been resident in England and Wales on May 31, 2017.

People who meet these criteria, but who do not want to be included in the case can opt-out.

How to get your £750

You can find out more about this case, and register to join the action at www.youoweus.co.uk