Google shares will soon open Thursday. But, the question on many people’s lips is, will they respond to the UK’s ‘Google you owe us’ campaign?
Google shares were mixed during the US trading day Wednesday, before closing in the red at $1,037.38.
Pre-trade activity is pointing to a positive open, so far.
Why does Google owe Britons?
The ‘Google You Owe Us’ campaign has been launched Thursday by ex-Which? Director, Richard Lloyd. He alleges that between 2011 and 2012, Google illegally gained data from UK users’ iPhones.
The Safari workaround was apparently used on a number of devices, including the iPhone, during that period. It’s alleged Google used cookies to collect information from some devices to deliver targeted ads. Even though Safari users default setting is to block cookies.
"In all my years speaking up for consumers, I've rarely seen such a massive abuse of trust where so many people have no way to seek redress on their own," Mr. Lloyd said, according to a BBC report.
"Through this action, we will send a strong message to Google and other tech giants in Silicon Valley that we're not afraid to fight back," he added.
Court approved the action
The Court of Appeal approved the action in March 2016, stating that consumers had the right to sue Google over a misuse of privacy.
Google, however, told UK reporters: "This is not new - we have defended similar cases before. We don't believe it has any merit and we will contest it."
If the legal action were to be successful, it would likely net each individual UK consumer around £500 in compensation. While that’s not enough to purchase a new iPhone X, the principle of a win would be much more pleasing than any monetary gain.
And, there is a chance of success for Lloyds action. A case on the exact same issue was brought to the US Federal Trade Commission in 2012. Google agreed to pay a record $22.5m (£16.8m), in that instance.