UK Safari users given go ahead to sue Google (Wired UK)


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Google has lost a Court of Appeal battle
to prevent British internet users from suing the company in the
UK.

Google was accused of bypassing security settings in Apple’s Safari browser, which allowed the company
to track users’ browsing habits in order to deliver them targeted
ads. The alert was raised by a group called Safari Users Against
Google’s Tracking, which has been pursuing the case for several
years.

Focussing on the period of time between summer 2011 and early
2012, the group accuses Google of “clandestine” tracking that not
only violated user privacy, but left them feeling distressed and
humiliated.

Google appealed against a High Court ruling that allowed three
individuals to continue legal proceedings against it, but today (27
March) it was dismissed by three appeals judge. The three pursuing
the case are Judith Vidal-Hall, a writer and publisher, and two IT
security company directors named Robert Hann and Marc Bradshaw.

The victory today is not only for the three individuals pursuing
the case against Google, but for any Safari user who potentially
wanted to sue Google for tracking their behaviour while using the
browser. It could potentially be a landmark case for the UK, having
ruled that people in this country can hold Google to account if
they believe the company has violated their privacy.

Google has previously insisted that such cases should be brought
against it within the US, but this success may well help set a
precedent for people pursuing the internet giant in the UK. It may
also pave the wave for UK citizens to sue other US companies that
operate in the UK.

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27 March 2015 | 2:01 pm – Source: wired.co.uk

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