A prominent privacy advocate is to sue Google for £400 after the firm pressed ahead with changes to its privacy policies, which he claims invalidates the contract he originally signed when purchasing an Android-powered smartphone from HTC.
Alexander Hanff, who formerly worked for Privacy International and is now managing director of Think Privacy, told V3 he filed complaint in order to demonstrate how best to take action against Google over the changes.
"I wanted to find a route for other members of the public to take action that is relatively low risk. The cost of filing in a Small Claims Court is very low and the risk of having costs awarded against you should you lose are very slim," he said.
"I had hoped that the pressure from regulators would force Google to reconsider the changes, which is why I didn't file until yesterday after Google had once again refused to submit to requests from regulators and advocates."
Hanff added that he was taking the action as he did not believe the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) was in any position to help having been left disillusioned by its stance during the StreetView Wi-Fi incident in 2010.
"Ideally I would have liked to take action through the ICO but their history on these issues is very poor and I have been told personally by senior ICO staff that the commissioner has told his office he doesn't want a war with Google," he said.
Google has officially rolled out the changes to its privacy policies from 1 March, arguing that it will benefit users by offering an improved service, by data protection regulators and politicians have raised numerous concerns with its proposals.
Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal.