Google could be forced to pay out thousands after losing a Court of Appeal bid to stop users from being able to sue over privacy settings. It’s been claimed that Google bypassed Safari browser security settings in order to install cookies on computers and target consumers with advertising.
The tech giant said it was “disappointed with the court’s decision”, which has been branded as a “David and Goliath victory”.
Google were accused to using a Safari workaround to place cookies gathering data on surfing habits, class, race and ethnicity without the knowledge of users. The company claimed it had no case to answer because users had not been harmed financially whilst using Apple’s browser.
The Court of Appeal said: “The case relates to the anxiety and distress this intrusion upon autonomy has caused”, adding that Google would not be able to “use its vast resources to evade English justice”.
It’s thought that the outcome could pave the way for millions of consumers to seek justice after usig Apple devices between summer 2011 and spring 2012. Google’s actions have been described as “a breach of consumers’ civil rights”. The company has already been forced to pay over $40 million to US users affected by the workaround.