The U.K. data protection watchdog, the ICO, has intervened in a court case brought against Google on privacy grounds by a group of U.K. Internet users because it is interested in how aspects of the case might help clarify questions around the jurisdiction of national data protection law vis-à-vis Internet giants, which are invariably based overseas.
The U.K. web users bringing the case, which has been ongoing since the start of 2013, allege that Google used cookies to track their browsing activity via Apple’s Safari browser in 2011 and 2012 against their wishes. The case follows an earlier class action law suit against Google in the U.S. which was thrown out because the judge said the plaintiffs could not prove they had suffered any harm.
However the FTC did slap Google with a penalty of $22.5 million for secretly bypassing Safari privacy settings in order to harvest intel to sell to advertisers.
Google’s legal strategy to fight the case in the…
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