Google could owe you hundreds of pounds after being accused of unlawfully collecting personal data from millions of iPhone users.

Former Which? director Richard Lloyd claims the tech giant harvested information by bypassing privacy settings on Apple handsets.

A campaign called Google You Owe Us, headed by Mr Lloyd, reportedly hopes to land at least £1 billion in compensation for an estimated 5.4 million users of the device.

It is claimed that between June 2011 and February 2012, Google placed cookies small text files, which give websites a way to track a user’s preferences and deliver personalised advertisements, in iPhones.

This in turn fooled the devices into releasing data from Safari, Apple's web browser, it is alleged.

Mr Lloyd told Radio 4: "There is some precedent in the UK courts, where a small group of individuals settled privately with Google, but what has never happened, and what I think is a huge gap in the regulatory system, is everyone else who was affected by this workaround, the privacy settings on Safari, they've never had any access to redress at all and that's what we're trying to tackle with this claim."

In August 2012 Google agreed to pay 22.5 million US dollars to settle charges that it misrepresented to users of the Safari browser that it would not place tracking cookies or serve targeted advertisements to those users.

A Google spokesman said: "This is not new - we have defended similar cases before. We don't believe it has any merit and we will contest it."

It is reported to be the first such mass legal claim of its kind in the UK.

Legal firm Mishcon de Reya has been appointed to represent the group.

The case is reported to start next year.

If the campaign is successful this is the criteria you will need to meet to be eligible:

Present in England and Wales between June 1, 2011 and February 12, 2012

Had an Apple ID at that time

Owned or was in possession of an iPhone

Used the Safari browser to access the internet

Kept the default security settings in the Safari browser

Did not opt-out of tracking and collation via Google's Ads preference Manager

Resident in England and Wales on May 31, 2017