High Court to hear Safari users’ privacy claim against Google

Panopticon has from time to reported on Google’s jurisdictional argument when faced with privacy/data protection actions in European countries: it tends to argue that such claims should be dismissed and must be brought in California instead. This argument is not always successful.

The same jurisdictional argument was advanced before Mr Justice Tugendhat in response to a claim brought by a group calling itself ‘Safari Users Against Google’s Secret Tracking’ who, as their name suggests, complain that Google unlawfully gathers data from Safari browser usage.

This morning, Mr Justice Tugendhat dismissed that jurisdictional argument. The case can be heard in the UK. Matthew Sparkes reports in the Daily Telegraph that the judge said “I am satisfied that there is a serious issue to be tried in each of the claimant’s claims for misuse of private information” and that “the claimants have clearly established that this jurisdiction is the appropriate one in which to try each of the above claims”.

The same article says that Google will appeal. This follows Google’s announcement yesterday that it will appeal a substantial fine issued by the French data protection authority for unlawful processing (gathering and storing) of user data.

Panopticon will continue to gather data on these and other Google-related matters.

Robin Hopkins @hopkinsrobin