Google Fighting UK Government on Privacy
Google asks a British court to dismiss privacy claims against it, arguing that U.K. law doesn't apply to the U.S.-based company. Analysts say that's nonsense.Google is fighting a new legal battle over data-privacy challenges in the United Kingdom and argues that the company can't be held accountable to U.K. privacy laws because Google is an American company based in the United States. That position, however, is not going over well with British authorities or with a group of Britons who filed a lawsuit in their country in connection with Google's past handling of personal data on their iPhones, according to an Aug. 18 report in The (London) Telegraph. "The company is facing a landmark group legal action by Britons angry over the way it circumvented settings on the iPhone to track their Web usage," reported The Telegraph. In July 2012, Google was fined $22.5 million for similar behavior in the United States by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after Google used code to bypass Apple Safari Web-browser privacy settings that blocked user tracking cookies by default. In response to the latest British claims, however, Google argued that it isn't covered by British privacy laws, saying there is "'no jurisdiction' for the case to be heard [there] because its consumer services are provided by Google Inc., based in Silicon Valley, rather than Google U.K.," according to the story.
Several of the claimants in the lawsuit told The Telegraph that they are angry about Google's response. "It seems absurd to suggest that consumers can't bring a claim against a company which is operating in the U.K. and is even constructing a $1 billion headquarters in London," Marc Bradshaw, one of the claimants, told the paper.