Law firm Olswang is preparing to represent over a hundred people in a class action lawsuit against Google after the search giant circumvented the security settings on Apple's Safari web browser to track online usage.
Long story short, Google reportedly installed cookies secretly on computers and mobile devices using the Safari web browser in order to track behavioral patterns and target specific ads at the customer base.
This was done without the users’ consent, the law firm says.
“Through its Doubleclick adverts, Google designed a code to circumvent privacy settings in order to deposit the cookies on computers which allowed them to provide user-targeted advertising,” the law firm says in a press statement.
“The claimants thought that cookies were being blocked on their devices because of Safari's strict default privacy settings and separate assurances being given by Google at the time. This was not the case,” it adds.
The law firm says the claimants are now seeking damages, disclosure and an apology from Google, as the Internet giant has breached their clients' confidence and privacy.
Dan Tench, a partner at Olswang, says in the press statement, “The volume of requests to take action against Google should be no surprise given its reach within our society.”
“Consumers tell us they are determined to hold Google to account. Anyone who used the Safari browser between September 2011 and February 2012 may have a claim.”
Olswang claims to have received requests from other European jurisdictions asking whether similar claims can be brought to justice in those respective territories.
In other words, things are about to get serious as more and more people join the class action suit. Google is yet to release its answer to these allegations.
The first claimant to issue a letter of claim against Google, 74-year-old Judith Vidal-Hall, says, “We hope anyone who used Safari and who was covertly targeted by tailored advertising joins this action.”