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Google attempts to avoid U.K Privacy Law

Written by Rehana Ali on 30 August 2013

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The internet giant is currently trying to avoid a substantial fine for breaching the privacy rights of iPhone users in the U.K, following already having paid a record fine in the U.S of $22.5 million.

At present a legal action is being brought against Google in the U.K for circumventing the settings on the iPhone to track consumers web usage, in response to the High Court, Google has argued there is no jurisdiction for case to be heard in the U.K as Google services are based in the U.S.  (If Google’s competitors Microsoft and Facebook faced such an action, they couldn’t make such an argument as their services are provided through European companies.)

The case highlights the issues surrounding the privacy rights of Google’s U.K based users who heavily rely on its search engine and email services. The claimants in the case have argued that Google’s policies have no respect for British privacy legislation and drew a parallel with the internet giants controversial avoidance of U.K corporation tax.  

Claimants in the case have argued that it is ridiculous that a company operating in the U.K under a .co.uk web address may be able to avoid the action even though it is currently in the process of constructing headquarters in London worth $1 Billion.

It has further been argued that even the Information Commissioners maximum fine of £500,000 (through the U.K's Data Protection Authority) would be largely ineffective considering it would account as a meagre amount in comparison to the internet monsters annual turnover. The application to dismiss the action is due to be heard this October.

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