Feeds

Apple users: Only Apple can track us! Not Google

Brit Safari users fire off lawsuit against sneaky cookie

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

UK Apple fans are suing Google for tracking them online against their will over a five-month period.

iThing owners who used the Safari browser between September 2011 and February 2012 allege that Google bypassed the web browser's security settings to plant a temporary cookie that skimmed information from them to personalise ads.

Google acknowledged there was a cookie slip-up in February 2012 and removed the tracking code targeting Safari. Successful legal action by fanbois in the States has prompted British Safari users to start proceedings of their own. In the American case, investigated by the Federal Trade Commission Google was fined the relatively minor sum of $22.5m (£14m).

It took a Stanford researcher to spot the cookie planting gaffe by Google.

The British group set up a Facebook page yesterday to gather other people who may have been affected by the tracking. Safari Users against Google's Secret Tracking assessed the impact of the tracking:

It could mean for many users that surprises such as engagements, presents and holidays were destroyed when partners looked at their computers and saw display ads based on sites previously visited. There are many examples of the inappropriate consequences of such intrusion.

Google has claimed that the cookies it used did not contain personal information.

Media law firm Olswang is pursuing the case in the British courts. Olswang said its clients are seeking damages, disclosure and an apology from the company for a breach in confidence and privacy.

A spokeswoman for Google told The Register that the ad giant is offering no comment on this occasion. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.