Google privacy case can be heard in UK, court rules

Jan 16, 2014
Google logo is seen through windows of Moscone Center in San Francisco on June 28, 2012

Britain's High Court ruled on Thursday that a group of Internet users can sue US tech giant Google over an alleged breach of privacy legislation.

The California-based Internet giant had applied to have the case thrown out on the grounds that a British has no jurisdiction to deal with it.

The Internet users accuse Google of bypassing security settings on Apple's Safari browser to track their browsing and target them with personalised adverts.

High Court judge Michael Tugendhat ruled that British courts were the "appropriate jurisdiction" to try their claims.

"I am satisfied that there is a serious issue to be tried in each of the claimant's claims for misuse of private information," Tugendhat said.

"The claimants have clearly established that this jurisdiction is the appropriate one in which to try each of the above claims."

The case was brought by the Safari Users Against Google's Secret Tracking group, which includes a publisher and two IT security company directors.

"The Google argument that any trial should take place in California has not been accepted by the judge," a spokesman for the group said.

Google said it would ask Britain's Court of Appeal to hear its case.

"A case almost identical to this one was dismissed in its entirety three months ago in the US," a spokeswoman said.

"We still don't think that this case meets the standards required in the UK for it to go to trial, and we'll be appealing today's ruling."

Google faces privacy cases in a number of countries.

Last week, France's data protection watchdog fined the US giant 150,000 euros ($204,000)—the maximum possible—for failing to comply with its privacy guidelines.

Explore further: Google is unlikely to avoid UK courts on privacy

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google is unlikely to avoid UK courts on privacy

Dec 19, 2013

The question of accountability under national law for the wrongs committed by international companies has been debated and litigated for many years in many different courts and across many different countries. ...

Google sued in UK over Safari tracking

Jan 28, 2013

A British law firm says that about a dozen Apple customers are suing Internet search leader Google in the U.K. over its alleged secret tracking of their Internet browsing habits.

Recommended for you

White House updating online privacy policy

3 hours ago

A new Obama administration privacy policy out Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites. It also clarifies that ...

Net neutrality balancing act

22 hours ago

Researchers in Italy, writing in the International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management have demonstrated that net neutrality benefits content creator and consumers without compromising provider innovation nor pr ...

Twitter rules out Turkey office amid tax row

Apr 16, 2014

Social networking company Twitter on Wednesday rejected demands from the Turkish government to open an office there, following accusations of tax evasion and a two-week ban on the service.

How does false information spread online?

Apr 16, 2014

Last summer the World Economic Forum (WEF) invited its 1,500 council members to identify top trends facing the world, including what should be done about them. The WEF consists of 80 councils covering a wide range of issues including social media. Members come ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Venture investments jump to $9.5B in 1Q

Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 percent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into an increasing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday.

Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

(Phys.org) —The incident was captured by Dr Bruna Bezerra and colleagues in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil.  Dr Bezerra is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and a Professor ...

'Exotic' material is like a switch when super thin

(Phys.org) —Ever-shrinking electronic devices could get down to atomic dimensions with the help of transition metal oxides, a class of materials that seems to have it all: superconductivity, magnetoresistance ...