incrediBILL - 3:08 am on Aug 21, 2013 (gmt 0)
This is a very simple matter of jurisdiction IMO.
You can operate part of Google in the UK but not all of Google in the UK. If AdSense, which I assume has a separate corporate entity, is in fact wholly US based in it's entirety, then AdSense doesn't fall in any jurisdiction other than the US.
Think about it people, WebmasterWorld is a worldwide operation on the internet and has a huge UK membership but doesn't call within the UK's grasp any more than any other US based website, including Google.
Even the use of a .UK domain name is meaningless IMO otherwise the UK would be requiring everyone that purchased .UK domains, easily done in GoDaddy it seems, to also follow the UK privacy laws but I don't believe that is currently the case.
If the UK wants to make a simple and uniform rule then all UK domain names should be required to follow the UK privacy laws which easily sidesteps the issue of whether or not you're an actual company operating in the UK. If you buy the UK domain you should be required to abide by UK website rules or forfeit the domain after failure to comply with a simple 30-60 day compliance period. Fair for all, simple to administer, and where Google is registered as a company wouldn't mean squat.
However, to the best of my knowledge that isn't the current implementation so they don't have a leg to stand on if it's not.
FWIW, all the big words posted about Google sound grand when it's the big company but if the UK were coming down on smaller individual websites the squealing noises would be deafening. All US webmasters better hope they prevail otherwise we'll all be dumping our UK domains in a hurry!