Man Sues Google for Making him Buy a New Phone [5th Mar 2012]
A privacy campaigner has taken on Google in a court battle over privacy issues. Alexander Hanff from Privacy International based in Lancaster has filed a small clams case against Google for £400 in compensation. Hanff has commented that he wanted to make a point at a relatively low risk. He said that the cost of making a small claim is only £35 and it is rare for costs to be awarded against the loser. The court has accepted the case which has been based on Google's most recent privacy changes which came into force last week. The changes allow Google to merge data across multiple platforms and services including Android based mobiles. Hanff says that he did not give permission for Google to monetise his information in this way. He says that to buy a new phone which is not Android, he will need to spend around £400 which is the amount he is claiming. Google have not commented on the case.
BP have agreed to pay £4.9 billion in compensation to 100,000 victims of the oil spill in the gulf of Mexico in 2010. However despite their agreement to pay the compensation, they have not admitted their guilt. The figure is also just an estimate at this stage and will come from a 12.6 billion compensation fund which was put aside by the company. The US government is also in the process of taking their own legal action against BP which could see a further payment of around £11 billion for gross negligence. It is thought that further claims could be coming from individuals and businesses around the world. The US case is likely to involve BP, the oil rig owners Transocean and Halliburton who provided the cementing for the rig.
Former workers in the construction industry are asking for compensation after it was revealed that they were on a blacklist, preventing them from getting work in the sector. The blacklist was held by The Consulting Association which compiled a list of "troublemakers". This company is now closed and this has allowed the victims to take the case to court. 3,200 workers were on the list and were thought to be too troublesome to be given work. This included men who had complained about problems on work-sites or for being members of the union. 100 of these workers are now starting a class action against 39 companies which used the blacklist - they claim their human rights were breached as they were forced out of their usual work. There is also evidence that information from the police and secret services has been used to compile the list, which has been described as disturbing. The construction companies which have been named as users of this blacklist are Skanska, Balfour Beatty and Costain.
Anti-nuclear protesters are asking the government how they intend to compensate people who live in West Cumbria after a proposed radio-active dump is built in the area. A vote was taken recently to oppose the idea of West Cumbria being an option for the building of an underground repository for radioactive material. Furthermore councillors wanted to know if there was a fund for compensation, should it go ahead. Campaign group Radiation Free Lakeland have said that no compensation would make up for this type of geological dump, but they would still like to know what the government is proposing. The local council voted in favour of moving forward in the process - a decision which was met with surprise. A further public consultation will also be held.
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