Google has lost a bid to block a lawsuit brought in by three Brits on grounds of privacy breach.
The plaintiffs, Judith Vidal-Hall, Robert Hann and Marc Bradshaw, accused Google of bypassing security settings on Apple’s Safari browser for nine months spanning 2011 and 2012 in a bid to track their Internet habits and logging demographic data for targeted ads. Google, on the other hand argued saying that it should not be sued as consumers had suffered no financial harm.
A three-judge panel dismissed Google’s appeal saying that “These claims raise serious issues which merit a trial.”
“They concern what is alleged to have been the secret and blanket tracking and collation of information, often of an extremely private nature… about and associated with the claimants’ internet use, and the subsequent use of that information for about nine months. The case relates to the anxiety and distress this intrusion upon autonomy has caused.”
Plaintiff Judith Vidal-Hall welcomed the court’s decision and said “This is a David and Goliath victory.
“The Court of Appeal has ensured Google cannot use its vast resources to evade English justice.
“Ordinary computer users like me will now have the right to hold this giant to account before the courts for its unacceptable, immoral and unjust actions.”
A spokesperson for Google said “We’re disappointed with the Court’s decision, and we’re considering our options.”