Google fails to contest privacy legal claim

Google has not contested a small claim brought by a campaigner protesting against Google's updated privacy policy.Alex Hanff made an online small claim of £399.

Google has not contested a small claim brought by a campaigner protesting against Google's updated privacy policy. Alex Hanff made an online small claim of £399.95 for a replacement for an Android phone, plus court costs of £35, in protest against Google's updated policy. The policy, which was implemented at the beginning of March, sees Google share data across its services to target advertising. There is no opt-out for the data-sharing.

"#Google failed to respond to my lawsuit by the deadline so I filed for default judgment this morning #privacy," Hanff said in a Twitter post on Wednesday.

A complainant can apply for a default judgement if the defendant, in this case Google, fails to respond to court requests within 14 days. A default judgement would see a small claims court automatically awarding Hanff the claim.

Hanff filed the lawsuit to demonstrate that people unhappy with Google's policy can pursue a small claim. Nokia is providing a replacement Lumia handset, said Hanff, who hopes to use the money to start a cascade of small claims.

"#Nokia are sending me a free #Lumia so I will pledge my compensation from #Google lawsuit to fund claims for 10 more people #Privacy", "If you live in the UK & own a retail #Android device (not carrier subsidised) & are unhappy with #Google #Privacy changes, get in touch." Hanff said in Tweets.

Google is the subject of an investigation by EU regulators into whether its privacy policy breaches European data protection law. The probe, led by French privacy authority CNIL, sent Google a letter with questions designed to determine Google's data protection compliance on Friday.