The Supreme Court handed down a judgment in what has been described as one of the most significant cases in recent legal history: Lloyd v Google.
Richard Lloyd sued Google for collecting web browsing data from iPhone users between 2011 and 2012, despite the American technology giant claiming at the time that it was prevented from doing so by the Safari browser’s default privacy settings.
He brought the claim not just as an individual affected by Google’s actions, but as someone who is representing over four million people in a ground-breaking representative action. Mr Lloyd winning the case means the US technology giant will be forced to forfeit billions to compensate affected iPhone users.
<p>Although this may have indeed opened the floodgates on millions of claims, it highlights the power behind these technology giants and once again the data engine behind these business models. The privacy debate places more onus on the user and we need to take more care with our personal information ourselves. Our private data is preyed upon everytime we use the internet as it makes up the financial backbone of the internet. There are ways to control it via using more privacy focused apps but many people wrongly assume they are private by default. Tracking is big business but there are tricks to reduce tracking available such as using VPNs, privacy focused messaging services and even the use of the dark web making us more anonymous. However, contextual advertising still persists and even though we may request limited tracking, it is impossible to completely evade all tracking online.</p>