Google claims that UK law does not apply to them

UK users who were tracked online against their will are told to file a lawsuit in the US

A group of UK-based Safari-users attempting to sue Google over privacy infringement have been rebuffed by the search giant, who say that UK law does not apply to them.

The campaign group, known as Safari Users Against Google’s Secret Tracking, have accused Google of bypassing the security settings on the Safari browser in order to track their presence online, personalizing Google’s adverts.

Google have already been successfully sued for the same offence in the US in August 2012, and were forced to pay a fine of $22.5 million by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The fine was levied for violating an FTC order that the search giant would not misrepresent “the extent to which consumers can exercise control over the collection of their information.”

In January 2013, inspired by the US case, a group of Britons filed a Group Action lawsuit against Google. Now, a recent statement by Olswang LLC, the law firm acting for the group, has said that Google have refused to be served in the UK and that they will only recognise the lawsuit in the US, where the company is based.

Olswang LLC also say that Google have described the case as “not serious, saying that the browsing habits of internet users are not protected as personal information, even when they potentially concern their physical health or sexuality.”

Judith Vidal-Hall, one of the claimants, responding by saying: “Google’s position on the law is the same as its position on tax: they will only play or pay on their home turf. What are they suggesting- that they will force Apple users whose privacy was violated to pay to travel to California to take action when they offer a service in this country on a .co.uk site? This matches their attitude to consumer privacy. They don’t respect it and they don’t consider themselves to be answerable to our laws on it.”

Another claimant named Marc Bradshaw, said that “It seems to us absurd to suggest that consumers can’t bring a claim against a company which is operating in the UK and is even constructing a $1 billion headquarters in London.”

 If consumers can’t bring a civil claim against a company in a country where it operates,” said Bradsahw, “the only way of ensuring it behaves is by having a robust regulator. But the UK regulator, the Information Commissioner's Office, has said to me that all it can do is fine Google if it breaks the law, but Google clearly doesn’t think that it is bound by that law."

"Fines would be useless – even if Google agreed to pay them - because Google earns more than the maximum fine in less than two hours. With no restraint Google is free to continue to invade our privacy whether we like it or not.”

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Inbound Customer Service Advisors

    £14564 - £15311 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Inbound Customer Service Adviso...

    Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Recruitment Genius: Experienced Web Developer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global entertainment media company are lo...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Designer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity for someone wi...

    Day In a Page

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific