A number of UK sources are reporting this morning that a group of 12 people, all of whom use Apple devices, are seeking damages from Google after claiming that their browsing habits were secretly tracked. It is thought the case, being brought against Google by law firm Olswang on behalf of the internet users, is the first of its kind in the UK.
The group is claiming that cookies, small tracking files, were installed by Google on their Apple computers and mobile devices without their knowledge.
Dan Tench, a partner at Olswang, said: "Google has a responsibility to consumers and should be accountable for the trust placed in them."
"We hope that they will take this opportunity to give Safari users a proper explanation about what happened, to apologise and, where appropriate, compensate the victims of their intrusion."
Judith Vidal-Hall, former editor of magazine Index on Censorship, has issued proceedings against Google after claiming they had covertly tracked her use of the internet.
The 74-year-old said: "Google claims it does not collect personal data but doesn't say who decides what information is 'personal'.
"Whether something is private or not should be up to the internet surfer, not Google. We are best placed to decide, not them."
A campaigning group, called "Safari Users Against Google's Secret Tracking," has been set up on Facebook and Olswang believes it could prompt others to come forward to take action. It is estimated there were 10 million users of Apple products in the UK at the relevant time.
Google was fined $22.5m (£14.2m) in the US in late 2012 for using tracking cookies on Safari.
This was No Accident
Nick Pickles, director of civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: "This episode was no accident.
"Google tracked people when they had explicitly said they did not want to be tracked, so it's no surprise to see consumers who believe their privacy had been steamrollered by corporate greed seeking redress through the courts.
"This case could set a hugely important legal precedent and help consumers defend their privacy against profit-led decisions to ignore people's rights."
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