Google may now be on trial by Safari users after losing a Court of Appeal bid. Now, Safari users from UK have the right to sue over alleged misuse of privacy settings. Users claim that Google avoided the security settings on the Safari browser by installing tracking cookies on their computers, redirecting them to sites advertised by Google.
Google was disappointed with the decision, but a partner at law firm Olswang, Dan Tench, who is acting for the claimants said:
“The Court of Appeal saw these arguments for what they are: a breach of consumers’ civil rights and actionable before the English courts. We look forward to holding Google to account for its actions.” He added “Google, a company that makes billions from advertising knowledge, claims that it was unaware that was secretly tracking Apple users for a period of nine months and had argued that no harm was done because the matter was trivial as consumers had not lost out financially.”
The case referred to so-called Safari solution, that would allow Google to avoid default Safari browser privacy setting to place cookies, which rallied the data like browsing habits, race ethnicity, social class, unbeknownst to users. Google tried to stop the action, claiming there was no circumstances to answer, because consumers have suffered any financial loss.
But, in the end, the Court of Appeal decided that these allegations increase serious issues which deserve a trial.
According to BBC, Google has already paid fines of over $40m related to this incident in the US.