Safari Users Win Right to Sue Google Over Privacy Violation
Ashley Allen / 5 years ago
Google has lost its appeal to stop a group of Safari users from suing the company over bypassing user privacy settings. The UK Court of Appeal loss means that the users of Apple’s proprietary browser can continue its legal action against the search engine giant.
A group of Safari users accuse Google of installing cookies, designed to target advertising, in spite of browser settings meant to block them. The Safari workaround allegedly used by Google allows it to bypass web browser settings to install cookies that gather personal data that is then used to generate personalised advertisement aimed at the user.
The Court of Appeal’s judgement reads:
“These claims raise serious issues which merit a trial.
They concern what is alleged to have been the secret and blanket tracking and collation of information, often of an extremely private nature […] about and associated with the claimants’ internet use, and the subsequent use of that information for about nine months. The case relates to the anxiety and distress this intrusion upon autonomy has caused.”
Google said it is “disappointed with the court’s decision,” while one of the defendants branded the ruling a “David and Goliath victory”.
Judith Vidal-Hall, one of the three claimants against Google, said, “The Court of Appeal has ensured Google cannot use its vast resources to evade English justice. Ordinary computer users like me will now have the right to hold this giant to account before the courts for its unacceptable, immoral and unjust actions.”