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Google "arrogant" for trying to avoid British legal system

Court

By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 16 Dec 2013 at 09:47

Google has been called "arrogant and immoral" for arguing that a case concerning privacy shouldn't be heard by the British courts.

The web giant has been sued in the UK over allegations it ignored Safari users' requests to not have cookies placed on their machines. The case has already been dropped in the US.

Google was sued over the case in the US last year, and paid a fine of $22.5 million to the Federal Trade Commission. The company didn't admit to any wrongdoing, however, saying the tracking was accidental.

Google is expected to argue at the High Court today that the hearing should be dropped in the UK since a case "almost identical to this one was dismissed in its entirety two months ago in the US".

Google must be held to account here, even though it would prefer to ignore England

"We’re asking the court to re-examine whether this case meets the standards required in the UK for a case such as this to go to trial," a Google spokesperson said.

This move has angered one of the claimants, Judith Vidal-Hall, who said in a statement: "Google is very much here in the UK. It has a UK-specific site. It has staff here. It sells adverts here. It makes money here. It is ludicrous for it to claim that, despite all of this very commercial activity, it won't answer to our courts."

"If consumers are based in the UK and English laws are abused, the perpetrator must be held to account here, not in a jurisdiction that might suit them better," she said. "Google's approach that British consumers should travel all the way to California to seek redress for its wrongdoings is arrogant, immoral and a disgrace."

One of the lawyers representing the group, Olswang's Dan Tench, said that "British users have a right to privacy protected by English and European laws".

"Google may weave complex legal arguments about why the case should not be heard here, but it has a legal and moral duty to users on this side of the Atlantic not to abuse their wishes," he added. "Google must be held to account here, even though it would prefer to ignore England."

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User comments

Anyone surprised?

Google has become more and more arrogant as it manages to avoid \ dismiss whatever challenge is thrown at it.

It is vastly more 'monopolistic' than Microsoft ever was (check those numbers). Its spyware is installed, by default, on 80% of smartphones and to a greater or lesser extent every time you use its "free" Search Engine, or Gmail etc.

Liked the Banks Google believes its "too big to fail", so it assumes (more or less correctly) that no nation, nor even the EU will dare to interfere with its nearly uncontrolled colonisation of the Digital Universe.....

By wittgenfrog on 16 Dec 2013

Get a Grip Wittenfrog

Google make money primarily by placing appropriate adverts alongside content on websites. This allows the websites to monetise visitors and allows me to ignore adverts that I don't want. No-one gets hurt in this process.
This hardly makes Google the dark side of the force. Google has not inforinged on my liberty or capacity for personal choice. This is hardly similar or comparable to Microsoft's monopolistic behaviour in the past.
Today, Facebook is a far greater threat to humanity as it allows others to mine its data.

By milliganp on 16 Dec 2013

@milliganp

You may well manage to "opt-out" of Google's data-collection activities. Most don't.

Google doesn't allow 3rd-party data-mining, but it will sell you the information. If you can afford it....

By wittgenfrog on 16 Dec 2013

Agreed - wittgenfrog

You got it spot on. Google are getting too big for their boots.

They think they are big enough to do anything and get away with it.

They are getting more arrogant and their privacy for other users is non existent - they don't care.

They should be trailed here and get fined.

By henry20012 on 16 Dec 2013

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