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English court creates tort of "misuse of private information"

The first new tort in centuries in Google Safari case

1:37 pm on Jan 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member graeme_p is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Ruling here:

[bailii.org ]

Lots of legal stuff from section 48 onwards.

The immediate effect (together with the rest of the summary judgement is a set-back for Google's defence for their sleazy workaround for Safari's default cookie settings.

The long term effect is that there is no an additional liability, on top of the requirements of legislation, for misusing private information.

This is why I like British judges a lot more than British politicians.
5:20 pm on Jan 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

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This is an interesting case, and one that the outcome may affect many other privacy cases.

Google has failed in an attempt to stop a case going ahead in the UK that will decide if it illegally tracked users.

It was sued in Britain by people who said Google bypassed privacy settings in Apple's Safari browser without telling them.

Google argued that the case should be heard in the US where it is based.

On Thursday High Court Judge Michael Tugendhat said the UK was an "appropriate" jurisdiction and the case could proceed.Judge Rules Google and Safari Privacy Case Can Go Ahead In UK [bbc.co.uk]
1:18 pm on Jan 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

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They will appeal of course. They'll have to because this could be massive. The EU directive that's causing them the problem states clearly that cookies cannot gather data which can be used for advertising without the express permission of the visitor. In the Safari case it was obviously not given. However, how many visitors to not only Google but also Twitter, Facebook etc have given permission for their data to be recorded? No doubt an argument will be raised that they know what is going on so that permission is implied by the fact that they continue to use these websites but the directive is vague on what 'permission' can be defined as. Bumper payments are in store for lawyers on both sides.

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