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Old Jan 16, 2014, 11:25 AM   #1
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UK Court Allows Activists to Sue Google Over Safari Tracking




A UK Court will allow a group of privacy experts to sue Google over the company's circumvention of privacy settings in Apple's Safari browser, reports Gigaom. Following this ruling, the activists can pursue a tort claim that alleges Google misused their private information. The Honourable Mr Justice Tugendhat writes in his decision:
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"I am satisfied that there is a serious issue to be tried in each of the Claimants' claims for misuse of private information... The Claimants' application to rely on ground (9) in relation to the DPA [Data Protection Act] claim is allowed... the Claimants have clearly established that this jurisdiction is the appropriate one in which to try each of the above claims."
This case stems from Google's former practice of installing cookies in Safari even when the web browser blocked that practice. Google circumvented the browser's default privacy settings by tricking Safari into thinking a web page was a trusted page. Google did this through code embedded in its ads that made Safari think the user was submitting a form. When a user fills out a form, Safari makes an exception in its privacy policy and allows a cookie to be installed on a user's device, and Google exploited this exception to install cookies without the permission of the user.

Google halted this practice in 2012 after it was reported by The Wall Street Journal, but consumers and regulators pursued the case through several investigations and lawsuits. The company was fined $22.5 million by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for this privacy violation and paid a $17 million settlement in a case filed on behalf of Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia.

Article Link: UK Court Allows Activists to Sue Google Over Safari Tracking
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 11:34 AM   #2
Lionel Messi
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Google's going down!
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 11:37 AM   #3
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Good. Next up, everybody else who thinks its a good idea to take personal information without permission ...*COUGH*... NSA.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 11:43 AM   #4
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I'm all for privacy, but where does this cash go?

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The company was fined $22.5 million by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for this privacy violation and paid a $17 million settlement in a case filed on behalf of Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia.
Why are 37 states getting paid because Google screws me?
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 11:55 AM   #5
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I admit I have little knowledge on the UK court system.

However - my only question is - what damage occurred and is that an important metric to prove in order to win a case.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 12:21 PM   #6
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Where is our share of the cash when we are the actual victims instead of some of the states and not all of them?

Last edited by B4U; Jan 16, 2014 at 01:12 PM. Reason: Pathetic android work phone keyboard fails.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 12:49 PM   #7
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Google's going down!
I'm sure they'll get a stern talking to and some serious finger wagging!
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 01:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TsunamiTheClown View Post
I'm all for privacy, but where does this cash go?

Why are 37 states getting paid because Google screws me?
The idea is that having to pay a fine stops Google from doing it again. So the important thing is Google paying out. Who receives it is secondary.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 02:16 PM   #9
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Does anyone know if Apple has made any changes to Safari to prevent others from exploiting the same approach?
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 02:31 PM   #10
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The idea is that having to pay a fine stops Google from doing it again. So the important thing is Google paying out. Who receives it is secondary.
By this logic, the company that killed someone by a poor product only need to pay the government and the actual victim is only secondary? Him...don't know if I can agree to that.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 02:43 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by gnasher729 View Post
The idea is that having to pay a fine stops Google from doing it again. So the important thing is Google paying out. Who receives it is secondary.
Paying a fine of $22.5 million means nothing to a company like Google, like paying $10 to the average person. There is nothing about the amount that would deter them from doing something like that again. It is ironic that Google got rid of their motto "Don't be evil". Didn't Google also once use the motto "Do no harm"? My how times have changed.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 04:01 PM   #12
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Blah blah blah Sue Google blah blah

A good day today.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 06:17 PM   #13
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At least we can sue Google, unlike the NSA.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 07:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Taz Mangus View Post
Paying a fine of $22.5 million means nothing to a company like Google, like paying $10 to the average person. There is nothing about the amount that would deter them from doing something like that again. It is ironic that Google got rid of their motto "Don't be evil". Didn't Google also once use the motto "Do no harm"? My how times have changed.
Have they ever lived to any of these mottos?

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At least we can sue Google, unlike the NSA.
Ironically enough, AFAIK your 4th amendment was included so citizens would have a safeguard against power abuse by their government. Times change.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 07:40 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by samcraig View Post
I admit I have little knowledge on the UK court system.

However - my only question is - what damage occurred and is that an important metric to prove in order to win a case.
The damage that I can see is the violation of privacy, knowingly as they assured the customers otherwise. While some predictably might find that fact unimportant or irrelevant, others take it very serious and imho it does say something about a company's ethic. It will be interesting to see how the court will handle this.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 07:49 PM   #16
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The damage that I can see is the violation of privacy, knowingly as they assured the customers otherwise. While some predictably might find that fact unimportant or irrelevant, others take it very serious and imho it does say something about a company's ethic. It will be interesting to see how the court will handle this.
No argument.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 08:08 PM   #17
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 08:09 PM   #18
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Yes I have and do.
Not sure to get you…
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 08:10 PM   #19
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Not sure to get you…
I misread your post. That is why I deleted it after I realized that.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 08:13 PM   #20
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I misread your post. That is why I deleted it after I realized that.
Oh, ok.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 08:36 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by samcraig View Post
I admit I have little knowledge on the UK court system.

However - my only question is - what damage occurred and is that an important metric to prove in order to win a case.
I can't see how there could be damage done unless there's a law dictating it or there's an argument that Google causes other problems like business losses in some odd situations, but it makes sense for the States to collect fines for spying.

But… I don't care if a bunch of extra costs are pinned on Google.

----------

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At least we can sue Google, unlike the NSA.
Alright, enough copying and pasting this on every article about Google. That's like complaining that the cops get to use cell phones in their cars and run red lights while on duty.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 08:59 PM   #22
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Alright, enough copying and pasting this on every article about Google. That's like complaining that the cops get to use cell phones in their cars and run red lights while on duty.
NSA duties do not include mass-spying of each and every non-US-citizen data that transit on US soil. They are greatly overstepping their duties and in other times, the agency would have been dissolved and its key people sued and imprisoned.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 09:29 PM   #23
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NSA duties do not include mass-spying of each and every non-US-citizen data that transit on US soil.
"The NSA is tasked with the global monitoring, collection, decoding, translation and analysis of information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes, including surveillance of targeted individuals on U.S. soil."

Sounds like it's their job.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 09:43 PM   #24
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"The NSA is tasked with the global monitoring, collection, decoding, translation and analysis of information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes, including surveillance of targeted individuals on U.S. soil."

Sounds like it's their job.
Why would every netizen be targeted? Everyone is guilty, until proven innocent. Sounds like paranoia to me.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 10:19 PM   #25
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Why would every netizen be targeted? Everyone is guilty, until proven innocent. Sounds like paranoia to me.
Do you know that every citizen is targeted? There's no proof. I seriously doubt it, considering that at least one person would be needed to track and analyze all the data that one person sends. Perhaps some data from everyone is collected but not looked at unless needed. And anyway, why would you care about that? Ironic that you mention paranoia… we're talking terrorist plots vs. your sense of perfect and complete privacy.
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