Google has been accused of sticking its middle finger up at the UK’s legal bodies and consumers alike. Responding to recent accusations of collecting data from internet users without their consent, the search engine giant has stated that as the UK’s courts have “no jurisdiction” on what goes on in a business based half-way around the world.
Or in a rough translation for the sake of sugar coating, they’ve flipped the UK the bird.
It’s all connected with the ongoing argument that Google basically managed to slip its way through the security settings of Apple’s Safari web browser so as to put cookies on the respective device and do its marketing bidding. The accusation was put to Google a while ago by web users in the US, whose successful legal action saw Google fined $22.5 million and forced to rethink its actions.
And as is the way of the world these days, once Safari users in the US found out what had happen, the bandwagon got that little bit bigger.
Unfortunately for said bandwagon jumpers at least, it doesn’t look to be panning out quite how they intended. Rather than Google bowing to the same claims and putting its hands into its endless pockets, the firm has instead held fast and stated that the courts in the UK cannot intervene as the service in question is based in and operated from an international location.
Rubbing salt in the wound even further, legal parties working for Google have also stated that the complainants in the UK are being fundamentally unrealistic when it comes to the kind of privacy demands they are expecting. This has predictably gone down like a lead balloon in the UK, prompting some of those gunning for Google’s blood to speak out.
“Google’s position on the law is the same as its position on tax: they will only play or pay on their home turf. What are they suggesting – that they will force Apple users whose privacy was violated to pay to travel to California to take action when they offer a service in this country on a .co.uk site?” said Judith Vidal-Hall, one of the complainants.
“This matches their attitude to consumer privacy. They don’t respect it and they don’t consider themselves to be answerable to our laws on it.”
Neither Google nor its legal representatives have been willing to pass comment on the quarrel.