A privacy campaigner, suing Google for £400 over the changes it has made to its privacy policies, has told V3 that the firm has failed to respond to his claim and has asked for a default judgement in his favour.
Alex Hanff, formerly of Privacy International, filed the case against the search giant in Northampton County Court in protest at the changes the firm has made to its privacy policies, arguing the amendments resulted to a breach of contract for the Android phone he owned.
He filed the request at the start of March, but as of last night Google had failed to issue any response, providing Hanff with the right to file for a default judgement, which he has now done.
Hanff told V3 he was surprised Google had not responded, but said it was symptomatic of the "the contempt Google have shown for the law and with regulators over recent years".
Hanff added that he hoped his stance would inspire others to do likewise.
"Google ignoring a single case for a sum of £400 is one thing, but if a lot of people take action off the back of this case then obviously this could have a significant impact on Google's reputation and revenues," he said.
"[This] will hopefully spur [Google] to start listening to regulators, start meeting its obligations under various agreements with regulators over previous infringements and of course start to treat their users' privacy with more respect."
V3 contacted Google for comment but had received no reply at the time of publication.
Hanff also revealed that Nokia had got in contact after reading of his case to offer him a free Lumia 900, and as such he intends to use the £400 he expects to receive to offer to cover the filing costs of other Android owners disgruntled with Google's stance.
"My hope is that by offering to refund people their filing fees (£35) others may decide to issue similar claims," he explained.
"Of course if they are successful they will need to refund me those costs once they receive their compensation (which includes their filing fee) so I can then fund someone else's claim.
"I really want to encourage other people to take control of their own privacy and send Google a message that they will not permit their rights to be ignored."
Google is also facing an investigation into the changes it has made to its privacy policies by French data protection regulators, acting on behalf of the European Commission, with the company being asked to answer 69 specific questions on the changes it has brought forward.
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