cookies Stories March 27, 2015

cookies

Update: A class action suit has now been funded by a major US law firm, allowing any qualifying UK user to join the action at no cost. You can complete a qualifying questionnaire here.

A not-for-profit company, Google Action Group Ltd, has been set up to manage the case which is seeking to win between £400 and £4000 in compensation for each claimant who used a .  It has appointed Hausfeld, Europe’s leading claimant firm, to challenge Google on behalf of all those Apple users in England and Wales who used the Safari browser on Apple computers, iPod Touches, iPads, and iPhones during the infringing period of Summer 2011 to about 17th February 2012.
The Google Action Group is seeking more members of the public to sign up for the legal action.  The public can join the action for  free, because the costs will be met by a £2.5m pot of money being put up by a major US litigation funding firm.

UK Apple users have been given the go-ahead to sue Google for continuing to drop cookies on their devices even after they had refused permission through their Safari browser settings.

It was revealed in 2012 that Google bypassed the setting in Safari which instructed sites not to drop cookies, enabling it to deliver personalized ads. The FTC in the US fined the company $22.5M for the practice, with millions more in additional fines levied by 38 US states. There was no government action in the UK, but a group of British iPhone users took Google to court, seeking compensation for breaching their privacy.

Google had attempted to have the case dismissed, claiming that there was no case to answer as the plaintiffs had not suffered any financial harm, but the UK’s Court of Appeal has rejected this argument, allowing the case to proceed …

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cookies Stories January 16, 2014

Google privacy case looks set to go ahead in UK after Google’s dismissal attempt fails

Google today lost its attempt to have a British court dismiss a claim for breach of privacy in respect of dropping cookies in Safari even when the option was switched off.

Google has argued that the appropriate jurisdiction was the US legal system, where a similar case had already been rejected. Mr Justice Tugendhat at London’s High Court today rejected that argument, stating that he was satisfied there was a case to answer and that it should be heard in the UK.

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

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

Although Google was denied the right to appeal the ruling, it has said that it intends to attempt an appeal regardless.

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.

In the U.S., the company was fined $22.5M by the FTC last July over the infringement of privacy.

cookies Stories May 4, 2012

Google facing tens of millions in fines in FTC’s iOS Safari privacy investigation

We knew that Google would likely face fines in the Federal Trade Commission’s investigation into its method of bypassing Apple’s default iOS Safari browser settings. Last month, reports claimed the FTC would make a decision on the fines within 30 days. Today, Reuters reported sources close to the situation have confirmed Google is currently negotiating with the FTC over fines that “could amount to tens of millions of dollars”:

Google Inc. (GOOG) is negotiating with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over how big a fine it will have to pay for its breach of Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s Safari Internet browser, a person familiar with the matter said. The FTC is preparing to allege that Mountain View, California-based Google deceived consumers and violated terms of a consent decree signed with the commission last year when it planted so-called cookies on Safari, bypassing Apple software’s privacy settings, the person said.

Cross-posted on 9to5Mac.com

cookies Stories February 28, 2012

Everyone knows that Google can dodge privacy features in Internet browsers, renounce third-party cookie policies, and supply personalized ads despite a user’s privacy setting. Privacy regulators, advocates and consumers alike have called upon Google and other advertising companies to abide by browser’s do-not-track policies, but Google already stepped to the plate with a solution for suspicious users that do not want to be tracked.

Keep My Opt Outs” is a Chrome browser extension that blocks all cookies harvested for personalized ads. The evasive cookies under fire in the media essentially follow a user’s trail across websites to collect history for data reaping. The particulars help Google supply targeted advertisements. All Web browsers include a built-in setting to block this information-cropping process, but Google and other firms use a distinct code to disable the setting in Safari and Internet Explorer.

“Keep My Opt-Outs is an extension for users who aren’t comfortable with personalization of the ads they see on the web. It’s a one-step, persistent opt-out of personalized advertising and related data tracking performed by companies adopting the industry privacy standards for online advertising,” wrote Google on the Chrome webstore

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