U.K. Court Blocks Mass Legal Action Over Google's Alleged Tracking of Safari Users

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2001
    #1
    [​IMG]


    London's High Court on Monday blocked attempts to bring a collective lawsuit against Google over alleged historical snooping of millions of iPhone users in the United Kingdom (via Reuters).

    The lawsuit's claimants alleged that Google illegally gathered the personal data of over 4 million iPhone users in the U.K. between 2011 and 2012 by bypassing the default privacy settings on Apple's smartphones which allowed it to track the online behavior of users browsing in Safari.

    [​IMG]
    Original explanation of the "Safari Workaround" in 2012 WSJ article

    Veteran consumer rights campaigner Richard Lloyd, who led the collective 20,000-strong lawsuit, had claimed that Google's "Safari Workaround" breached the U.K. Data Protection Act by taking personal information without permission, and wanted the tech giant to pay out several hundred dollars in damages to each person affected. As a ballpark figure, a claim by 5.4 million people for £500 each would result in a £2.7 billion ($3.63 billion) payout for Google.

    When the case was first brought in November 2017, it was the first time a collective action has been brought in the U.K. against a leading tech company over alleged misuse of data. "Collective action" is where one person represents a group with a shared grievance, similar to a class action lawsuit in the U.S.

    However, Google said it was "not new" and vowed to defend itself, having defended similar cases before. "We don't believe it has any merit and we will contest it," said the tech giant at the time. On Monday, the court ruled in Google's favor.
    A similar case occurred in the U.S. in 2012, when Google and several other advertising agencies were discovered to be circumventing privacy protections in Safari for iOS in order to track users through ads on numerous popular websites.

    At the time, Safari blocked several types of tracking, but made an exception for websites where a person interacted in some way -- by filling out a form, for example. Google added coding to some of its ads that made Safari think that a person was submitting an invisible form to Google, and thus Safari let Google install a cookie on the user's phone.

    Google halted the practice once it was reported by the Wall Street Journal, but argued that the tracking was unintentional and did not harm consumers. However, that didn't wash with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and the company was forced to pay a record $22.5 million fine over its use of the tactic.

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: U.K. Court Blocks Mass Legal Action Over Google's Alleged Tracking of Safari Users
     
  2. StellarVixen macrumors 68000

    StellarVixen

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2018
    Location:
    Earth
    #2
    Same as every time Google is caught doing something absolutely horrible. *Crickets chirp and tumbleweed rolling.*

    No any mention of any gate, no too much media publicity, media doesn't seem to care much, except few stories here and there.
     
  3. Skeptical.me macrumors 6502

    Skeptical.me

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #3
    I'm so sick of Google's business model, and their sheer lack of concern for data privacy. I understad tracking isn't just limited to FB and Google, but they seem to be leading the way. I'm glad I've shut down and deleted both FB and Google accounts. As well as deleted all of their Apps from my iOS devices.
     
  4. StellarVixen macrumors 68000

    StellarVixen

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2018
    Location:
    Earth
    #4
    This isn't your normal tracking. This is typical intrusive spyware behavior.
     
  5. Skeptical.me macrumors 6502

    Skeptical.me

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #5
    That's the thing that baffles me, the lack of concern by the general public. They seem to either not understand the ethics that apply to such intrusion or simply don't care.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 8, 2018 ---
    Agreed. Certainly is.
     
  6. Lankyman macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Location:
    U.K.
    #6
    Thank goodness the UK courts are pragmatic and deal in common sense. These litigants are anti-Google and were just after an 'early pay day'.
     
  7. 212rikanmofo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    #7
    **** Google, Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram, FaceBook. I'm sick and tired of all these so called "Social Media" giants invading and making money off of us by stealing and selling our private information to 3rd parties without our consent! It's time we do something about this as a whole. Time to fight back. Delete and stop using anything related to these evil corporations. I'm glad I deleted FaceBook, and replace Google with DuckDuckGo. I don't use those other "social media" sites so I'm good.

    We can't tolerate this type of behavior anymore. I'm sick about hearing about all these privacy breaches that have been going on. It's getting way out of hand. Boycott these corporations. What they are doing is illegal.
     
  8. Steve121178 macrumors 601

    Steve121178

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    #8
    UK courts & common sense in the same sentence?
     
  9. whooleytoo macrumors 604

    whooleytoo

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #9
    Perhaps if there were a "GoogleRumors.com" site there might be. Given this is an Apple-focused site, it's hardly surprising it's so focused on good and bad Apple news.

    Having read the original article, it's very light on details as to why it was blocked. If these companies aren't held accountable, they've shown time and again they don't have any 'conscience' of their own.
     
  10. StellarVixen macrumors 68000

    StellarVixen

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2018
    Location:
    Earth
    #10
    You missed the point by a mile. This has nothing to do with Mac Rumors, I am talking about media as whole.

    It wasn't the MacRumors who started the gate nonsense, but tech YouTubers. Same tech YouTubers who are very loud when Apple does something bad, but surprisingly silent when Google keeps doing absolutely disgraceful things over and over.
     
  11. iOSUser7 macrumors 6502a

    iOSUser7

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2014
    #11
    I know we are not living in a kids world but this statement is still plain disguting.

    I wish there was a quick and easy way to just convert my personal Gmail address to an @icloud.com address without going through all the trouble of transfering everything over and changing the address on every website I have used it one by one.
     
  12. pika2000 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    #12
    Google can literally do anything and nobody would bat an eye. Why? Because Google holds everybody by the balls, via Search (every media outlet), youtube (all media/youtubers that get viewers/income through it), and GMail (roughly everyone). This is why the "Do no evil" motto was extremely critical and the old Google was aware of it. But then Google changed, and now they'll just do anything, knowing that they get a free pass.
     
  13. thering1975 macrumors regular

    thering1975

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2014
    #13
    Exactly, everyone wants a payday nowadays, thankfully UK courts dont play the game so to speak. Funny thing is no one complained or even discussed the fact that since IOS 12 Apple now receives your email and phone call usage history which is sent to their servers to issue you the user a "trust score" for "preventing fraud" purposes. Yet did not see Apple shout that out as a new feature.

    The illusion of privacy is what companies try to sell you now, their is no privacy not online or in the real world. Is it a shame, yep, but such is life bigger stuff to worry about in my opinion.
     
  14. cogitodexter macrumors regular

    cogitodexter

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    Naaaaaaarfolk, England
    #14
    I would be interested in seeing the particulars of the complaint as there are a number of rules in UK law relating to misuse of customer computers, including the running of computer code/programs on them without consent. That this case has been denied (and there's always the possibility of appeal, yet) doesn't necessarily mean it's over.
     
  15. Lankyman macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Location:
    U.K.
    #15
    Absolutely - best legal system in the world. Have you any idea how many countries send their legal people to the UK for training and observation of our system?
     
  16. Steve121178 macrumors 601

    Steve121178

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    #16
    The British legal system has been broken for three decades.

    Look how many people escape justice thanks to their legal teams exploiting loopholes etc.

    Look how many terrorists the Home Secretary tried to kick out only for the wonderful British justice system to overrule the Home Secretary due to the terrorists legal team arguing it's against his human rights.

    Look how many stone wall cases against big businesses always get thrown out of court.

    It's bollocks.
     
  17. StellarVixen macrumors 68000

    StellarVixen

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2018
    Location:
    Earth
    #17
    If you read carefully that part of iTunes Privacy Policy, you wouldn't be making yourself this laughable by comparing Apple's data collection model with Google's.
     
  18. Solomani macrumors 68040

    Solomani

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Location:
    Alberto, Canado
    #18
    Make it a $5 billion fine and then call it even and move on.
     
  19. eMiilio macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2018
    #19
    In my opinion they do a fine job at putting all your information at your fingertips. You can come trol to a large extent what is or isn't collected, and for what is collected, it's viewable right on their privacy page. Google assistant inquiries for example are all stored so you can hear each audio prompt separately and delete your audio history from the privacy section of your Google account. If I use Siri, on the other hand, there's no way for me to control where that info is kept or to see it later if I'd like to.
     
  20. Spazturtle macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    #20
    Yeah who cares about human rights when we have bigger things to worry about like new Instagram filters. Good on the judge for dismissing the case on the grounds that 'violating somebodies human rights doesn't cause harm'.
     
  21. iBreatheApple macrumors 68030

    iBreatheApple

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #21
    You know, some people think it's "not that serious" because we aren't being physically harmed but I'm so tired of feeling vulnerable and taken advantage of in this electronic age. Between stuff like this (and imagine what we DON'T know about!), the never-ending internet ads, ads every 2 seconds on during football, ads every 3-4 posts on instagram as of late, and now Netflix is testing commercials for paid subscribers. How can it get any worse/intrusive? I'm sure they'll show us.
     
  22. Onexy macrumors regular

    Onexy

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
  23. StellarVixen macrumors 68000

    StellarVixen

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2018
    Location:
    Earth
    #23
    I think it is easier to find the exit from the labyrinth of Knossos, than to find the way to the settings option for that.

    Non tech savvy people do not even know that exists, and Google is not doing much to help them find that either.
     
  24. attilavago85 macrumors member

    attilavago85

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2017
    Location:
    Dublin
    #24
    It's a mix of both not understanding and not caring. Many think they have nothing to hide and while that may be true today, laws change and what was completely OK today, may be illegal or frowned upon tomorrow. People also don't realise that if and when they do make a small mistake and end up in court, what otherwise would have ended with a simple fine, can end up in a nightmare, just because the judge decided to order collection of data from Google on that individual, and while none of the data may be illegal, the pattern that emerges based on it may steer their fate into an unexpected direction.

    Then there's the fact that many genuinely believe that Google products are free. It still doesn't register to most that when you get something for free, you're the product. You gotta admit, it's an ingenious business model, but it's also incredibly evil, especially in the wrong hands, and while some might say Google itself it not going to harm you in any way, that is in no way an assurance for that data being stored and used safely and unmaliciously by those with third-party access.
     
  25. madmin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    #25
    Mail is the center of ones digital life. When you lose your password to a service, mail is usually the way to reset it, etc. Consider using a good paid for service. For example, Fastmail, where it's easy to transfer all your messages and contacts from another email provider. With Fastmail it's also easy to export out if you change your mind and want to go elsewhere.
     

Share This Page

108 October 8, 2018