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December 9, 2014

Information Commissioner intervenes in Google data case

Allegations of tracking browsing patterns and violating data protection rights.

By CBR Staff Writer

The UK privacy regulator, the Information Commissioner, has reportedly intervened in a case involving Google and three users, over allegations of tracking their browsing patterns without their knowledge and violating their data protection rights.

Google is seeking the UK Court of Appeal to overturn the ruling.

The Information Commissioner interrupted the case as an interested third party and argued that elements of the case could be concerned with data protection regulations.

Google’s case turned out to be significant as it goes in line with rising concerns over online privacy and protection of personal internet data, according to the Financial Times.

Welcoming the ICO’s intervention, one of the claimants Marc Bradshaw said: "We are delighted to see this action by the Commissioner."

"Google may be a massive company with huge resources, but it must treat consumers with respect by abiding by their wishes and not abusing their right to privacy."

"We truly hope that the Information Commissioner will witness for himself in court Google’s vast array of technical and legal excuses for its actions and its desperate attempts to avoid answering to English courts.

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"Every citizen of this country has privacy rights and Google infringes those fundamental rights whether it costs us cash or not. It’s typical for Google to argue that it’s all about money."

The ICO wants to check whether the information in the case can be sorted out as personal data under the Data Protection Act, as well as to inspect whether the suggestions of damages under the Data Protection Act could include non-pecuniary losses too.

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