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January 29, 2013

Apple Safari users in UK sue Google over snooping

Google is accused of secretly installing cookies on the computers of people who use Safari's internet browser.

By CBR Staff Writer

Google is facing a privacy battle in the UK after a group of Safari browser users are suing the company for allegedly tracking their internet browsing habits.

A group of 12 people are forming a campaigning group called ‘Safari Users against Google’s secret tracking’.

The group claims that Google secretly installed cookies on their computers and mobile devices.

"Google claims it does not collect personal data but doesn’t say who decides what information is ‘personal’," said Judith Vidal-Hall, UK leader of the group.

"Whether something is private or not should be up to the internet surfer, not Google. We are best placed to decide, not them."

The group said it has appointed the law firm, Olswang, to coordinate the claims and are launching a Facebook page to provide information to other people who have been affected.

Olswang partner Dan Tench said: "Google has a responsibility to consumers and should be accountable for the trust placed in them."

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"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," Tench said.

In August 2012, Google was ordered to pay a civil penalty of $22.5m to settle charges for bypassing the privacy settings of Apple users who use the Safari browser.

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