back to article Sue us for Safari ad tracking? You'll be lucky, peons, cackles Google

The UK's Supreme Court has granted Google permission to appeal against a ruling giving Apple Safari users the right to sue the Chocolate Factory over its adbot tracking. Google had been accused of unfairly circumventing users' privacy settings in Safari, allowing it to follow Safari users around the internet and show them …

  1. Hollerith 1

    They don't deny they did it

    They don't deny wrongdoing, or doing something they said they couldn't do, they just throw up a lot of dust to say 'this isn't the right court'.

    Not that I thought highly of Google before.

  2. heyrick Silver badge

    Google had argued that UK court system had no jurisdiction in this case

    Were some of those affected British? If so, then UK courts will have jurisdiction.


    Financial harm is a red herring anyway. How does one attach a monetary value to being tracked and profiled with no specific right of access to that information or the right to correct it, assuming you can even figure out who it is collating this information or what conclusions they may have drawn. Isn't this against EU rules in the first place? Anyway, how can you claim damages from what you don't know? The fact you don't know doesn't mean it might not be potentially damaging...

    1. Neoc

      Re: Google had argued that UK court system had no jurisdiction in this case

      "Financial harm is a red herring anyway. How does one attach a monetary value to being tracked..."

      Simple: A financial company which makes money by serving targeted ads has been tracking you. At minimum, the "monetary amount" is that which the company estimates it will make by bothering to track you. You shouldn't have to prove that you lost money, only that someone *gained* money by behaving this way towards you.

      (Yes, I realise that's not how it works. I'm just saying that it'd be a better way for it to work)

  3. Esme

    Sue 'em for false advertising

    If they're still claiming to do no evil...

  4. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Hmm. Supreme court nobbled? Or just dim?

    1) If tracking peoples' browsing habits had no value, then Google wouldn't do it. So therefore it does have a value. If the Safari users attempted to block the tracking, they indicate that they do not want to take part in the trade of personal information for services.

    2) There's a serious precedent in danger of being set - which is the kind of thing that the Supreme Court is supposed to be aware of. If A foriegn-based company trades with UK citizens (and the exchange of personal information for services should be construed as such) it should not be able to disregard UK laws. However much code it would take to implement.

  5. Mike Bell

    It was a mistake, Guv

    Just like when we hoovered up people's WiFi communications as we patrolled the streets in our spymobiles.

  6. Rich 2


    why does there have to be a "financial loss" for the case to be considered?

    Not everything is about money

    1. W Donelson

      Re: Money

      "Not everything is about money" ....

      Almost everything is now. Compare to 1950s - I do.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Money

        Are you saying things were not all about money in the 1950s? I wasn't around then, but I think you need to defend such an extreme position with some evidence.

  7. David Roberts Silver badge


    However my understanding of the law concerning damages in the UK (or at least in England and Wales) is that the aim of any monetary award is restitution not revenge. If you have suffered financial loss you should be compensated to remove that loss.

    You don't get additional money to teach the bastard a lesson or compensate you for your indignation.

    So you generally have to show a financial loss to sue for damages.

  8. John Lilburne Silver badge

    German regulator has it right

    "For that matter Facebook cannot again argue that only Irish Data Protection law would be applicable ... anyone who stands on our pitch also has to play our game," he said.

    OK so that is facebook, but the same should apply to Google here too.

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