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Google Seeks To Throw Out UK Safari Tracking Suit 70

judgecorp writes "In the latest twist to the saga of Google's tracking of Safari users, the tech giant has asked to have a U.K. lawsuit dismissed. Google says it is bound by California laws, so plaintiffs will have to come to the U.S. and sue there. Law firm Olswang is bringing the suit on behalf of British users whose Safari browser settings were overridden to help Google target ads; it argues that international organizations should respect the laws that apply where their customers live."
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Google Seeks To Throw Out UK Safari Tracking Suit

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  • by theodp ( 442580 ) on Monday December 16, 2013 @08:13PM (#45709717)

    Consistent with their tax stance, at least. :-)

    • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Monday December 16, 2013 @08:19PM (#45709771) Journal

      Doesn't matter - like most jurisdictions, if a business has a physical presence in a given area, they can be sued and are subject to the laws in that area. Odds are pretty good that Google has a physical presence at least somewhere in the UK, so...

      Gotta give 'em credit for Chutzpah, though.

      • which is exactly why East Texas has such a good business deciding patent cases. If its good enough for intra-US lawsuits, its good enough for cross-border ones too.

        And besides, it never stopped the US from prosecuting people it considers might have violated american laws, like online gambling, no matter where in the world they live.

      • Now we get to find out if their terms of service "contract" is legally able to force a change of venue to California, for actions that occurred in England.
    • by hguorbray ( 967940 ) on Monday December 16, 2013 @08:20PM (#45709777)
      Tracking Suits are for Chavs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chav

      -I'm just sayin'
    • ok...here's the vid from Damn Yankees: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kjQmgm0r4g [youtube.com]
    • I still trying to wrap my head around the part where the EU's, and the UK's Laws are secondary to California Laws? Since when did California become responsible for that mess? Californians have enough problems to solve out here. Like the Bullet Train, the Kings River Delta, and Daylight Savings Time.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I read this headline as 'Google seeks to dispose of a suit (wearable) invented in the UK and intended to be used for tracking [animals] by people on safari' which made me wonder why Google would toss a (potentially) perfectly good stealth tracking suit. I wish I had a safari tracking suit...

  • Could Google form its own floating country and abide by their own rules?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, it's called the "US", and Google already owns it and abides by its own rules.

      It's not floating, however - but stuck to the bedrock from the weight. That last joke was brought to you by Europeans, who notice correctly that Americans are fat.

    • Not really. They could but only to the extent other countries recognized them as a country and even then, only to the extent their transactions are viewed to be within that country.

      The problem is if you buy something online, did you buy it in your country or the sellers. That even gets muddled when you send it to my country and i use it. Am i using it in my country or yours. This is where a strong military and economic advantage comes into play. If you have the military might, you can enforce it being in yo

  • Bottom line: Google answers to the Chinese legal system (when it comes to censorship) but not to the British legal system (when it comes to privacy).
  • This is simply a legal maneuver. The UK court is unlikely to approve such a request, and even though IANAL, I suspect old Google has several very competent attorneys behind this motion. When one is a defendant in the courtroom, it is prudent to ask for advantage at every opportunity.
  • When I read the headline I thought Google had developed a Safari Suit with inbuilt GPS tracking, and they were trying to throw it away...
  • by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Monday December 16, 2013 @09:40PM (#45710395)
    • Thank you. I have to admit the only reason I opened this thread was because I was hoping someone would do something like that.

  • Typical American attitude. Our laws and ideals apply everywhere. We are the world.

    Every company that sells products in a region has to meet the standards of the region to sell their products. Why should software services be treated any differently?

    You want to do business in China, you follow Chinese law. You want to do business in the UK, you follow UK law.

    You don't want to follow the local laws, you don't get to do business.

    Plain and simple.

    • If you didn't want to limit your legal remedies to those available in a certain area, then why did you agree to doing so in the first place? Was it an intentional act of fraud in order to benefit from what you otherwise couldn't?

      This isn't something that just got made up. Its part of the license agreement people agree to in order to install the software. I don't see google winning but i find the outrage being shown to be very uninteligent and lacking.

      • by carou ( 88501 )

        If you didn't want to limit your legal remedies to those available in a certain area, then why did you agree to doing so in the first place? Was it an intentional act of fraud in order to benefit from what you otherwise couldn't?

        This isn't something that just got made up. Its part of the license agreement people agree to in order to install the software.

        What license agreement? The only installed software in this discussion in Safari.


        Speak for yourself.

      • by msobkow ( 48369 )

        Look, with every product in the world, you are subject to the terms, conditions, and legal system in place where the product is used/sold.

        Software services should be no different. If you don't like the terms of a particular nation, block their users from using your service.

        If a Japanese car's brake system fails in the US (like Toyota), they get sued where the cars were sold, not where the cars were manufactured.

        • by msobkow ( 48369 )

          The same approach applies to patent, trademark, and copyright laws.

          Why in the world should software services be treated as the only exception in the world except to satisfy American megacorps?

          Fuck Google.

          Let them fight where their customers are.

  • by ciaran_o_riordan ( 662132 ) on Monday December 16, 2013 @10:00PM (#45710533) Homepage

    A lot of people seeing this sort of case ask a question like: can Google really decide where lawsuits must be filed?

    I don't know the law about this in England, but in Belgium it seems the answer is: if the judge finds it not to be abusive.

    In a case like this, where the "injured" party is financially small and the amount of damages per injured party will also be small, I wouldn't be surprised if Google's clause was found inapplicable.

    But as I said, I don't know the relevant law in England. Just saying that besides yes and no, the answer could also be "it depends".

  • In this case we have all three of the steps to profit:

    1. Have international web based platform that makes money by breaking laws in other countries.

    2. Use your home jurisdiction and lobbying to make you immune from lawsuits.

    3. Profit!!!

  • So, and I'm just going by American laws, but... why not go ahead with the courtroom proceedings? If Google doesn't show up, then the defendants win, and then - hell I don't know what they (the British system) do to those that do not pay up. Go arrest the higher-ups at the local Google office? Extradite the higher-ups from America?

    Why is it a different set of rules for big corporations? If this were a case of, person A suing person B, and person B didn't show up to court, and lost, then didn't pay up,
    • This is a civil case over supposed criminal activities that google has not been charged on in Europe (yet). There will not be any arrests or extradiction because of the lawsuit. But any assests including bank accounts within control/reach of the legal system could be confiscated and converted into payments if Brittish law allows it to happen. If the trial was properly defended, other countries could honor yhe judgement but not likely if it was held in absentia (google doesn't show).

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll