Company director Marc Bradshaw, editor and publisher Judith Vidal-Hall

“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”

The U.K.’s Court of Appeal has denied Google’s request to block lawsuits from British consumers over the search giant’s disregard for Safari privacy restrictions designed to prevent advertisers from tracking users.

These claims raise serious issues which merit a trial,” the Court said in its judgement, according to the BBC. “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.”

The case stems from 2012 allegations that Google intentionally bypassed Safari’s default privacy settings, which restrict websites from setting cookies unless the user has interacted with those sites directly. Google skirted this limitation by amending its advertising code to submit an invisible form on behalf of the user — without their consent — thus allowing tracking cookies to be set.

Those allegations prompted a six-month investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which Google eventually settled. The $22.5 million fine levied by the FTC was the largest such sanction in the agency’s history, and Google later agreed to pay a further $17 million in fines to settle cases in 37 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

Google was able to avoid class-action lawsuits in the U.S., but its defense — that consumers had not suffered monetary harm — was not enough to evade British courts.

The Feds and 37 states were able to claim damages from Google; but, US courts in their infinite concern for the almighty dollar and little else – ruled that the computer users whose privacy was deliberately abused by Google have no standing to sue in a class action because they didn’t lose any money as a result of Google’ practices.

But, in the UK, privacy is considered the right of an ordinary citizen and Google’s abuse of that right makes them liable for a class action suit by users.



  1. Hmeyers says:

    Google is “too big” to anti-trust. And very friendly with the administration.

    Europe will continue to police what they do.

    Google is relatively benign, but as companies age the benign eventually goes away.

  2. Likes2LOL says:

    Google obviously needs to ramp up its lobbyist / Members of Parliament bribery program in the U.K. to prevent these embarrassments from happening in the future…

  3. Sheesh says:

    “But, in the UK, privacy is considered the right of an ordinary citizen ”

    Uh, no, no it is not.

    http://telegraph.co.uk/technology/10172298/One-surveillance-camera-for-every-11-people-in-Britain-says-CCTV-survey.html

    Sheesh.

    • NewFormatSux says:

      Not just the British.
      On Monday, the Student Association Senate at George Washington University (GWU) passed a resolution asking the school to install more cameras on campus after swastikas were placed on hallway walls twice in the last month.

  4. vonster says:

    Maybe this post is why your site wouldn’t load last night?

    I kept getting this: http://www.vonglitschka.com/temp/dvorak_error.png

  5. LibertyLover says:

    […]US courts […] ruled that the computer users whose privacy was deliberately abused by Google have no standing to sue in a class action because they didn’t lose any money as a result of Google’ practices.

    Actors and actresses and athletes get reimbursed when someone uses their likeness. Perhaps we should all sue Google for not paying us our share of profits from the use of our digital fingerprint/likeness.

  6. From my Chromebook says:

    Google should suspend service for UK ip addresses for the duration of the trial. Put up a page naming the complainants and wait a couple of days.

    That would be evil.

  7. bobbo, the Flaming Liberal so far to the Left of Obama I think he is actually a Republican Light of 30 years ago..... just what happened??? says:

    Fun to see the right wing demand damages be assessed BY THE GUBMENT… because the marketplace has no remedy.

    LEARN…. what your own brain teaches you. Rinse.

    Reapply.

    • I hate Bobbo and I'm NOT alone! Way to spread the diatribe and all the hippie love there BOOB! says:

      I’m guessing the FIRST and FOURTH AMENDMENTS to the U.S. CONSTITUTION have no place in your North Korean utopian HOLE that you call a home. Pssst! We call it “spirit of law” since it’s illegal for “authorities” to do what mega-corporations like Google keep doing. I’m also pretty sure Google is a U.S. based company and is responsible for obeying U.S. laws too. (Ooops! I said a dirty word to you flaming lib-tards — responsible!)

      So if suing Google you mean “GUBMENT” then yes. I, and even quite a few of your friendly dumb asses expect SOMETHING from all those tax dollars we spend on people like cops, prosecutors and judges. I’m pretty sure the taxes aren’t ALL going to welfare where the lions share is given out to the masses of humans who have done NOTHING but fuck each other. And despite your best efforts too.

      Seriously, go fuck yourself. I doubt you have the balls to spew the hatred and stupidity that you post here in real life. In fact, I doubt you even HAVE a real life given the fact that you clearly have tons of time to devote to this blog.

      • bobbo, the Flaming Liberal so far to the Left of Obama I think he is actually a Republican Light of 30 years ago..... just what happened??? says:

        I agree…. not my best post. I’ve spotted something…but like yourself…. why spend the time to figure it out more accurately?

        NORTH Korea?—really??? Thats harsh, Dude!

  8. Sheesh says:

    “But, in the UK, privacy is considered the right of an ordinary citizen and Google’s abuse of that right makes them liable for a class action suit by users.”

    So what you’re really saying here is the citizens should sue the government for the increased surveillance and invasion of their privacy.

    Right?

    • bobbo, the Flaming Liberal so far to the Left of Obama I think he is actually a Republican Light of 30 years ago..... just what happened??? says:

      Biggest NON-THINK present in society today: CONFLATION. Making two very different things the same in one’s mind and advocating very stupid public policy.

      Eg: “So what you’re really saying here is the citizens should sue the government for the increased surveillance and invasion of their privacy.” /// No, thats not what was clearly said.

      What was said: You can have a class action suit for invasion of privacy in the UK but not in the USA. The privacy at issue was the share/privacy setting of the Safari browser. That has NOTHING TO DO with suing the Gubment for using video cameras filming IN PUBLIC where you have no privacy expectations at all.

      What you have conflated:

      1. A class action suit against Corporations with suing the Gubment.

      2. Suing over privacy rights rather than a desire to operate anonymously while IN PUBLIC where there are no privacy rights.

      Typical.

  9. bobbo, the Flaming Liberal so far to the Left of Obama I think he is actually a Republican Light of 30 years ago..... just what happened??? says:

    Speaking of “tracking”, I just stumbled on a serious issue. I do lots of recording and have about 20 hard drives full right now. More and More I’ve been recording shows I was sure I already had…but I couldn’t find them listed.

    Well, today I was archiving files and noticed that the files/folders were visible in the right pane and were being written to, but the same file and folder structure was not visible in the left pane view.

    Turns out, most of my hard drives had a “Share” setting of “Not Shared” and it was making the pane views very different with most files not showing. Evidently, the default set up on a new hard drive is “not share.” What I don’t understand is why the left pane shows anything at all?===but anyhoo, going to advanced share settings and selecting “Make this folder shared” has made everything just the way…………..it used to be?/should be???

    I hate Microsoft. Basic functionality is fubar’ed all too often.

    Anyway–check your folder/drive views in windows and select properties and see what is “shared” WITH YOURSELF for christ sake.

  10. NewFormatSux says:

    Yet the site’s namesake defends Google’s copying of people’s books and putting them online because it might make the authors and publishers more money.

  11. kitchnsync says:

    Funny how the gov’t allows many businesses to conduct pernicious tracking & snooping practices, all in the name of making a buck…but is trying thru legal and other means to stifle any & all so-called hacking of corporations by joe citizen (even if there is no proven monetary loss).

    “Privacy rights” for corporations are couched in other terms like corporate security & data sensitivity. But if Google, Micro$oft, Walmart, et al demand privacy/security, they better listen to their own advice… “you have no privacy – get over it”.

    You have no privacy, you only have piracy, it seems.

  12. NewFormatSux says:

    Of course Perkel will be using lots of Google products while complaining about government spying.


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