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Google trying to evade UK privacy laws, campaigners claim

Charles Arthur
London Guardian [1]
August 19, 2013

Privacy campaigners have slammed Google for claiming that UK laws don’t apply to it, after British users claimed the search giant illicitly tracked their web browsing.

In a response to legal documents filed by a group of British users seeking to sue Google [2], the company has said that the case should be served in California, where it has its world headquarters, and refused to accept the lawsuit in the UK. It also aims to contest the right of British users to bring a case in the country where they live and use Google’s services.

Google also dismissed the UK users’ claims as “not serious”, asserting that the browsing habits of internet users are not protected as “personal information”, even where they relate to sexuality or physical health.

The legal claim comes from a group representing more than 100 British Apple users, called Safari Users Against Google’s Secret Tracking [3], who have filed a damages claim that claims Google illegally violated their privacy in bypassing settings on Apple’s iPhone and iPad browser to install tracking cookies without their permission. The search giant paid a record $22.5m fine in the US in June 2012 [4] after the US Federal Trade Commission investigated that use of tracking cookies against millions of American consumers. Google did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement.

Full article here [1]