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U.S. Judge Says Google's Tracking Not Proved Harmful

     
6:25 am on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

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It just got even tougher to stop a company from tracking your movements online. A federal judge in Delaware Wednesday dismissed a class-action lawsuit brought against Google and two other tech companies, arguing that the Web users who brought the case couldn’t prove that Google’s tracking practices caused them harm.U.S. Judge Says Google's Tracking Not Proved Harmful [blogs.wsj.com]
U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson wrote that the companies had circumvented the browsers’ settings, allowing users’ personal information to be sold to ad companies. But the judge said that the plaintiffs couldn’t show that they suffered because the companies collected and sold their information.
8:47 am on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Must when both Google and MS are planning to do more of the same. Wonderful!
9:18 am on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Don't you have any 'Right to Privacy' Act?
9:40 am on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunaely Google and the other mega corps can buy their own justice.
12:35 pm on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Wow. Your legal system in the USA certainly needs an overhaul.
2:14 pm on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

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From the last paragraph:-
“Congress badly needs to update the nation’s privacy laws; we can’t leave the courts with so little guidance and expect consistent results.”

And how is that going to happen with the lobbying power of the megacorps.
3:10 pm on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

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We actually sort of have a Constitutional right to privacy, or at least that's how the Supreme Court has interpreted it on occasion.

The problem is, cookie tracking and that fun stuff generally doesn't cause any harm. It's icky and creepy, but it's not helping stalkers track their victims or anything. (Which, BTW, Google your name and city together and good grief, your whole address and phone number and everywhere you've lived is available in many, many databases for any scumbucket to peruse for a few bucks, and the burden is on YOU to get yourself removed from those databases. That worries me far more, though I'd like to have better protection against tracking, too.)
3:51 pm on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

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U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson wrote that the companies had circumvented the browsers’ settings, allowing users’ personal information to be sold to ad companies. But the judge said that the plaintiffs couldn’t show that they suffered because the companies collected and sold their information.

Did the judge in this case disclose any financial interests in Google? It just seems odd that Google has no liability for willfully breaching security measures designed to ensure a greater level of privacy.

It's cases like this that bring forth the need for better legislators. While politicians all fight one another about the budget and Obamacare, companies like Google are free to violate our privacy because laws are so old and outdated.
5:39 pm on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

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BTW, Google your name and city together and good grief, your whole address and phone number and everywhere you've lived is available in many, many databases for any scumbucket to peruse for a few bucks, and the burden is on YOU to get yourself removed from those databases.


That problem is a lot older than Google or Bing--or the Internet, for that matter. I remember a case in the '60s when one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S. refused to insure a guy because of something on his record that the insurance company felt was immoral. (I believe he'd been cited for having a statue of a nude on his front lawn.)
6:34 pm on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Whoops, I didn't mean to sound like I was blaming Google - I just meant "google your name..." in the sense where "google" is synonymous with looking stuff up online. It's the database sites that are displaying this info, and they can require such measures as faxing them your driver's license if you want to be removed from their lists. IMO that's a much worse breach of privacy than any tracking, so if that's allowed, I'm not at all surprised by this ruling.
7:34 pm on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

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These are times when I am thankful & appreciative I live in the European Union. America is a great place, with wonderful people - but still needs to improve on some issues, ex. privacy (PRISM), fair distribution of income & inequality, poverty, monopolies, human rights, capital punishment, etc.

.
7:17 am on Oct 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Governments also rather like these tracking schemes, because they can then use the data themselves - whatever Google and MS gather will be used by the NSA, one way of another.

@heisje depends which bit of the EU....

The EU is even worse than the EU on privacy - mandatory minimum 6 month retention of all web browsing, email meta data etc. - and that is just what is done openly. Virtually all transatlantic internet traffic is tapped by the UK.

The monopolies are a global problem. Take the companies we are talking about. MS has just as strong a market position in the EU as the US, and Google's is even stronger.

US has some very strong protections for free speech - whereas most EU countries ban "offensive" speech, and the definition of offensive keeps getting broader.

I agree with you about capital punishment and inequality, but the EU will follow the US on the latter.
2:40 pm on Oct 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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depends which bit of the EU....


Shhh. Someone might mention CCTV monitoring in the UK. :-)
2:20 am on Oct 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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U.S. Judge Says Google's Tracking Not Proved Harmful

...and on the flip-side:

Google Says (PRISM/FISA Secret Court) Judge's Tracking Not Proved Harmful

...cozy, aint it?