The Solicitor - The FindLaw UK Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog

Privacy: Google breach of UK privacy law is being challenged by the internet giant in court

Law suits filed against Google are being opposed by the search engine giant who claims that they are not bound by UK law, reports the Daily Mail.

Following a colossal law suit in America over Google's hacking of security settings on Apple web browser, Safari, more than one hundred British Apple customers are now approaching courts to take action against the company.

Google was found to have evaded Safari's security settings in order to track users' browsing history and sell this information on to third parties, it has been revealed. When this practice was discovered in America, it was immediately shut down. Furthermore, the company was forced to pay £14.4 million in fines to regulators.

However, the cases filed against Google in the UK have been dismissed by the company itself, claiming that they are outside British jurisdiction and therefore are not bound by UK law.

Google has appealed to the courts to have the case dropped. In addition, Google has argued that any insight the company obtains from individuals who use their site cannot be considered to be private or confidential. This response has caused tempers to fly amongst British campaigners who have been previously riled by the company's actions when it refused to pay UK tax.

Concerned by Google's attitude to user privacy, Big Brother Watch's D irector asserted: "It is deeply worrying for a company with millions of British users to be brazenly saying they do not regard themselves bound by UK law. Regulators need to step up and ensure that when citizens are illegally tracked against their wishes, the companies riding roughshod over their privacy [are] held to account."

Regardless of the number of individuals who take legal action against Google, the only action the UK regulator, the Information Commissioner's Office, can take is to fine the company and they are limited to enforcing a maximum fine of £500,000 at that. Such constraints have prompted a call for stronger regulation laws to prevent cases like these happening again.