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Monday, 19 August 2013 09:29

Google claims UK law can’t touch it

Written by Nick Farrell



Tells privacy campaigners to go forth and multiply

Search giant Google has told the British government it is immune to prosecution on privacy issues and it can do what it like. The US company is accused of illegally snooping on its British customers by bypassing privacy settings on Apple devices, such as iPads, to track their browsing history.

A group of British people took Google to court but the search engine is trying to get the case thrown out. Its argument is that it is not subject to British privacy law because it is based in California. This is the second time that Google has tried to avoid British law by pretending to operate in another country. It has come under fire for failing to pay tax in the UK

Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, said: ‘It is deeply worrying for a company with millions of British users to be brazenly saying they do not regard themselves bound by UK law. Solicitor Dan Tench, of law firm Olswang, said this was another instance of Google being here when it suits them and not being here when it doesn’t. Ironically when the US ordered Google to stop what it was doing, it forced the search engine to pay a $22.5million to regulators.

There are some indications that Google may not get its way. In July the Information Commissioner's Office told Google its privacy rules breached UK law so it will be very hard for it to stand up in court and say it didn’t.

Nick Farrell

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