Google sued by Android user over privacy changes

Google today officially launches its new unified privacy policy, which has been the source of much discussion and debate in recent weeks, as the impact of its changes comes into focus. The new policy will see a single set of terms and conditions applied for dozens of Google services, including YouTube and Gmail. This week, France's data protection watchdog again cast doubt on the legality of the new policy, while the Japanese government urged the company to tread with caution in implementing it there.

Today, a British privacy campaigner has filed a claim against Google in small claims court for approximately £400 GBP ($638 USD / €479 EUR) to replace his current HTC Desire handset. Alex Hanff claims that the introduction of the new privacy policy constitutes an unfair change of the terms and conditions to which he agreed when he purchased the Android smartphone. Hanff told The Telegraph: “The changes are a significant infringement of my right to privacy and I do not consent to Google being able to use my data in such a way.”

Citing examples such as that of France raising concerns with Google CEO Larry Page, Hanff accuses the company of “telling regulators where to go”, adding that Google has “basically stuck two fingers up” at any interested party that has attempted to voice reservations over the changes. Lawmakers in the US have also called for Google to postpone its measures, but these calls too have fallen upon deaf ears. “Hopefully my case will open an avenue for other consumers to take similar action,” Hanff added.

While Google obviously wouldn't be drawn on the specifics of Mr Hanff's case, the company did state that “users can choose not to log in to an Android phone with a Google account, and still use it to place phone calls, send text messages, browse the web and use certain Google applications that do not require account authentication such as Google Maps”. Whether or not this defence will be sufficiently robust against the pending court action remains to be seen.

But what would Mr Hanff replace his HTC Desire with? Well, he didn't specify a particular model, but he was clear that a Windows Phone is the way forward for him. In his words: “There's not much choice, but I wouldn't want to be subject to Apple's privacy policy, and Microsoft's seems the least threatening at the moment.”

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Two words, Google Buzz.

Do you really want "that hot girl" to know you like to watch Twilight parodies and do Justin Bieber karaoke? Do you really want your boss to see that you are a member of "that other party/religion/fanclub" mailing list? Do you want to explain to your mom or 8 year old child why you are getting "those" emails? These are the things that happen when the walls we try to build between parts of our lives are taken from us. We don't want to think about our parents having sex, our significant others using the toilet, or that creepy guy down the street peeking in on us.

When Google let us separate our life, we had control. When Google took that away, we don't. Privacy is about your rights... and in some circumstances (like being stalked, wrong associations, certain countries, whistle-blower) , privacy may save your life.

the ppl who dont concern about privacy or think that privacy is so passe, should walk naked on the street. There is nothing you can hide that we dont already know, dont we?

This guy just has a really old phone which is outdated and wants a new one (it's real value is next to nil now). But of course he could not sue them for a new android phone as that be counter productive. So he is suing for a windows one, which is no different for privacy.

Fact is this is a zero case where all he wants is a free phone because his is outdated.

This guy's privacy concerns over the new Google policies are bogus, he just wants a new phone for free and some media attention.

Fact: Microsoft has the same policies regarding unification of data collected through all their services (and then also from some third parties like Facebook). It's right there in their privacy statement for all the clueless of the world to go and read.

If he was really concerned he would be asking for a Symbian, a BB, a Bada... certainly not a WP7.

People take this personally and think Google really cares about them. They don't care about John Smith. All they care is about demographics.

People tend to think Google and advertisers actually give a crap about what they are doing. They just care about (for example) males ages 55 - 65 who are looking for golf clubs!

Sounds like some dbag trying to make a quick buck. It is funny how people are all worried about the privacy changes. If you read and comprehend whats going on, then you would realize that it is not a big issue. But you have a few fear trolling people out there flinging crap around and instead of reading for themselves, a lot of idiots are taking peoples word for it and then spreading it themselves.

I had a friend as me yesterday what was all the stuff people were talking about with Google. She was getting worried. I told her not to worry about it, her data is save, she can still control what happens to her data, and to go out and get some fresh air.

You know ... No matter how much it shouldn't, it never ceases to amaze me how incredibly uneducated people are when it comes to Google. I'd blame the media fear mongering, but honestly it all comes back to user stupidity and a disturbing lack of interest in educating oneself. How odd that people are so up in arms about nothing when google makes slight changes to their privacy policy, but everyone still loves their Facebook account which gleefully whores out their users' information. Heh.

Here's a question: Does anyone really know what data is collected from *ANY* online service of the sort? This just unifies it across services. Meaning that if your world is google, you'll have your information mined. It's integration and it does affect privacy... But then again, I'm an open book and have nothing to hide. They can take all the information they want for me to bombard me with all the advertising they want. I have a built in filter for online ads anyway. The information they collect? If it's of any use to them, good! Glad I could help you out, google... Now if you could pay me for it, it'd be even better.

People that use the Google Services make me laugh. I love reading those stories from those ignorant/naive people.

I don't actually think that but I wanted to see in 5 minutes of anyone flamed me for it.

Why? Comments like this against anyone using a non-Google product is really crappy. I took the words of UndergroundWire and changed one word to give it a different meaning. Can we all stop with comments like this that don't add anything productive?

I personally use a HP Touchpad with Android on it. It works for $99 so I am good with it.


NeoPogo said,
People that use the Google Services make me laugh. I love reading those stories from those ignorant/naive people.

NeoPogo said,
People that use the Google Services make me laugh. I love reading those stories from those ignorant/naive people.

There's little hope for people like you, you're worse than the fanboys.

thealexweb said,

There's little hope for people like you, you're worse than the fanboys.

You did not get the joke then, huh?

stupid privacy advocates...

retard # 1 says to retard #2 "i got me my phone bill today carl, and you know what? the phone company knows who i call, they know how long i talk to them for, and they even know where i am calling from! They know the time i called too. They even know how many texts that i am sending and too whom!" its a government cover up Carl! the world is coming to an end!"

It does kind of seem that this guy is just wanting a new phone. At any rate, I applaud him for taking on Google in this manner. I didn't like Google's privacy changes. I don't use their services anymore anyway (stopped some time ago) and so it really doesn't effect me but, at least someone is raising a stink about it. Someone has to....

People these days just feel entitled to get everything for free. They don't realize that ads pay for the free content they are getting and using.

No I'm not leaving Google, No i'm not going to sue Google, nore would i join in a class action law suite. Get a life people!

warwagon said,
People these days just feel entitled to get everything for free. They don't realize that ads pay for the free content they are getting and using.

No I'm not leaving Google, No i'm not going to sue Google, nore would i join in a class action law suite. Get a life people!


how can i order one and how much for 2 lives and 1 backup life and is there any premium with full features ?

I am REALLY getting tired of users, people, and dumb people over this privacy crap. If you don't like it, then here is an idea, MOVE.. to another planet. GET OVER IT, and STOP WHINING, privacy does NOT mean you lose any freedom if you are afraid of whatever privacy concerns you have, then don't use electronics, PERIOD. If you ACCEPT the policy learn how to read the damn text. EVERY agreement.. and I do mean EVERY agreement you have entered into since 1950.. has the small print "..subject to change WITHOUT notice, and users do NOT have to accept the agreement... but if you don't agree, that means you need to STOP using the device.

Since you obviously CAN'T read since day one, then ALL of you dorks need to simply go back to pre-historic days and use a tablet and steel, its clear you can't CONTROL yourself when its QUITE obvious you are getting in an upheaval over NOTHING. NOTHING has happened, only the promise of what *MAY* happen. Give me a DAMN break, stupid fools.

READ!

the company did state that “users can choose not to log in to an Android phone with a Google account, and still use it to place phone calls, send text messages, browse the web and use certain Google applications that do not require account authentication such as Google Maps”.

That means you CAN opt out, you don't like google policy, remove the Google account from the phone, or here is a better idea, RETURN don't EVER buy a TV, DVR, iPod, Tablet, Phone, Music CD, Movie DVD, or Computer EVER again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I wish I did not read this drabble and lose that 2 minutes of my life. Can I sue you to get those 2 minutes back?


rijp said,
I am REALLY getting tired of users, people, and dumb people over this privacy crap. If you don't like it, then here is an idea, MOVE.. to another planet. GET OVER IT, and STOP WHINING, privacy does NOT mean you lose any freedom if you are afraid of whatever privacy concerns you have, then don't use electronics, PERIOD. If you ACCEPT the policy learn how to read the damn text. EVERY agreement.. and I do mean EVERY agreement you have entered into since 1950.. has the small print "..subject to change WITHOUT notice, and users do NOT have to accept the agreement... but if you don't agree, that means you need to STOP using the device.

Since you obviously CAN'T read since day one, then ALL of you dorks need to simply go back to pre-historic days and use a tablet and steel, its clear you can't CONTROL yourself when its QUITE obvious you are getting in an upheaval over NOTHING. NOTHING has happened, only the promise of what *MAY* happen. Give me a DAMN break, stupid fools.

READ!

the company did state that “users can choose not to log in to an Android phone with a Google account, and still use it to place phone calls, send text messages, browse the web and use certain Google applications that do not require account authentication such as Google Maps”.

That means you CAN opt out, you don't like google policy, remove the Google account from the phone, or here is a better idea, RETURN don't EVER buy a TV, DVR, iPod, Tablet, Phone, Music CD, Movie DVD, or Computer EVER again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

rijp said,
<snip>

No. I'm not going to stop.

Got a problem with that? Get off my planet and STOP WHINING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111oneone

Yo dawg, what's your real name and address, every place you visited today, and your interests? We'll start there. You can answer here, since privacy isn't a concern. More questions to follow.

Enron said,
Yo dawg, what's your real name and address, every place you visited today, and your interests? We'll start there. You can answer here, since privacy isn't a concern. More questions to follow.
My names Jesse, I live in Montreal, and I like to go to pr0n websites. Whoopdeedoo. Who cares?

Nobody.

People need to grow the fck up. At least google is being transparent about what they're doing.... unlike 90% of the services you pay for. Google is free, so quit whining and if you have an issue then put your tinfoil hat on and unplug your microwave from teh intrawebs.

darkpuma said,
My names Jesse, I live in Montreal, and I like to go to pr0n websites. Whoopdeedoo. Who cares?

Nobody.

People need to grow the fck up. At least google is being transparent about what they're doing.... unlike 90% of the services you pay for. Google is free, so quit whining and if you have an issue then put your tinfoil hat on and unplug your microwave from teh intrawebs.

Actually, what is even more relevant in this case is that I like to use YouTube, as well as google search. Sometimes I search for car parts on google, and I like watching music videos. SHOCKING!

You still didn't post your full name and address. But I did learn that you like to reply to yourself. Hiring managers don't like people who talk to themselves.

I kinda have the feeling that dude just wants money for a new phone because he waited until today and that desire is getting a little old.

LauRoman said,
I kinda have the feeling that dude just wants money for a new phone because he waited until today and that desire is getting a little old.

I agree. I mean I don't understand the up roar over this. Its not like Google is telling you they're going to make your data public or something.

LauRoman said,
I kinda have the feeling that dude just wants money for a new phone because he waited until today and that desire is getting a little old.

You might be happy about a massive corporation data mining who you are, what you do, what sites you go on, who you ring, what text messages you send, etc.. doesn't mean everyone is.

TheLegendOfMart said,

You might be happy about a massive corporation data mining who you are, what you do, what sites you go on, who you ring, what text messages you send, etc.. doesn't mean everyone is.

On Android, Google don't track your calls, don't track your messages, and only track where you are if you mark the "Send position to Google to improve search results" under location services.

But anyway, being a troll is free.

LauRoman said,
I kinda have the feeling that dude just wants money for a new phone because he waited until today and that desire is getting a little old.

At least he's not suing them for xxx million euro/dollar/pounds, and just asks for a replacement phone of a competitor. Although, I don't think they should give him anything more than a Nokia Lumia 710 to replace his Desire (if he wins, of course).

TheLegendOfMart said,

You might be happy about a massive corporation data mining who you are, what you do, what sites you go on, who you ring, what text messages you send, etc.. doesn't mean everyone is.

The government does this and a lot more.

TheLegendOfMart said,

The government doesn't sell your data to the highest bidder.

And Google does? Paranoid much?

SharpGreen said,

I agree. I mean I don't understand the up roar over this. Its not like Google is telling you they're going to make your data public or something.

It is what Google is not telling you what they will do with your data... LOL

NeoPogo said,

It is what Google is not telling you what they will do with your data... LOL

You're really clutching are straws there, i could just as easily say "OMG what's Microsoft doing with my files stored on skydrive "

TheLegendOfMart said,

Im not US based.

Doesnt matter. The government screws over people in more ways than you think they do or want to believe.

Google's privacy changes is no a big deal. They are combining the data a crossed all their services. This is the same data that is already available to them.

thealexweb said,

You're really clutching are straws there, i could just as easily say "OMG what's Microsoft doing with my files stored on skydrive "

I don't know. Can you please call them and ask how they are using the skydrive data and report back? haha

CMG_90 said,

And Google does? Paranoid much?

Can you prove that they don't use the data in a way other than they describe? Microsoft would be very reluctant to sell your data directly simply because of the PR nightmare that would cause when it would inevitably get out. There would be a number of companies, organizations, and government agencies who base their operations on MS products who would actively seek alternatives, and the last thing that Microsoft would want is to jeopardize their market share, sales, or future revenues by damaging their reputation that an action like this would cause. At the end of the day, I'd be more inclined to trust almost any company with their business model that makes the vast majority of their money by selling Software over one that makes most if not all their money by selling data derived from their customer data.

TheLegendOfMart said,
They need to start a class action, I be more than happy to jump on the bandwagon.

Why, so you get a $20 coupon and the lawyers get $10 million in fees..seriously people wake up, class action is a joke.

schubb2003 said,

Why, so you get a $20 coupon and the lawyers get $10 million in fees..seriously people wake up, class action is a joke.

The point of a class action suit isn't for you to become rich, it's used as a tool so companies think twice about screwing people over.

So in ending, the joke is all you.

TheLegendOfMart said,
They need to start a class action, I be more than happy to jump on the bandwagon.

If you get in on a class action against Google, they will data mine the plaintiffs and start serving you with legal ads.

JaredFrost said,

The point of a class action suit isn't for you to become rich, it's used as a tool so companies think twice about screwing people over.

So in ending, the joke is all you.

You still miss the point, class action does not achieve what you believe it does. You will get a coupon for a Google service, or some partner, to which Google will make money off of most of the plaintiffs...

Why are you so thick about this? I have been dragged into multiple class actions, every single, god damned one included some discount to use on the defendants products/services. They are penalized by giving me a chance to buy another of their products/services and paying lawyers??

schubb2003 said,

You still miss the point, class action does not achieve what you believe it does. You will get a coupon for a Google service, or some partner, to which Google will make money off of most of the plaintiffs...

Why are you so thick about this? I have been dragged into multiple class actions, every single, god damned one included some discount to use on the defendants products/services. They are penalized by giving me a chance to buy another of their products/services and paying lawyers??

That's the fault of the lawyers dealing with your cases, not the class action suit.

wahoospa said,
Early today I unsubscribed to Google voice, several Google email accounts and Google as my home page.

Either you are cool or extremely paranoid.

wahoospa said,
Early today I unsubscribed to Google voice, several Google email accounts and Google as my home page.

Got your tinfoil hat on too?

wahoospa said,
Early today I unsubscribed to Google voice, several Google email accounts and Google as my home page.

Nice, now go use other services since I am suuuuure they are 100 percent secure and dont do anything wrong. I would of given you a medal, but it was made out of chocolate and I ate it.

wahoospa said,
Early today I unsubscribed to Google voice, several Google email accounts and Google as my home page.

Got to love how people think they are the center of the world with everyone trying to spy on them and their secrets. Of the millions of people who they could spy on, you are the chosen one!

wahoospa said,
Early today I unsubscribed to Google voice, several Google email accounts and Google as my home page.
Why do you have several email accounts? If you have different accounts, just use a different one for each service. No more tracking.

... and other news, NOBODY GIVES A CRAP what you do.