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UK Apple users sue Google over alleged Safari tracking

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
A group of 12 Apple device users has brought a lawsuit against Google in the U.K., claiming that the search giant violated their privacy by tracking them and secretly logging their browsing habits.

The plaintiffs, according to The Telegraph, say that Google installed tracking cookies on Apple's Safari browser on their computers and mobile devices between summer 2011 and spring 2012. The search giant, they allege, did so after they had explicitly indicated that they did not wish to have their browsing habits tracked.

Google Safari tracking
Google's Safari tracking, explained in this diagram from The Wall Street Journal has come under fire again.


Google, the complaint says, assured users that their habits would not be tracked. The users also state that Safari's default settings should have prevented the tracking.

Early in 2012, reports emerged that Google was circumventing the privacy settings in desktop and iOS Safari browsers to better track their web browsing history. Google "added coding to some of its ads that made Safari think that a person was submitting an invisible form to Google," according to a report at the time. Safari would then allow Google to install a cookie on the user's phone or computer.

Google, responding to the controversy, said it was only using the feature for "signed-in users on Safari who had opted to see personalized ads and other content."

The Federal Trade Commission in August hit Google with the largest fine it had assessed in its history, fining the company $22.5 million for ignoring Safari's security settings. Google agreed to the payment on the condition that it could deny "the substantive allegations in the Commission's civil penalty complaint."
post #2 of 30

Too bad this was already resolved with Google not admitting anything but paying it off anyway. 
 

But hey, maybe if the EU takes hold of this they'll actually do something to prevent it permanently.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #3 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Too bad this was already resolved with Google not admitting anything but paying it off anyway. 
 

But hey, maybe if the EU takes hold of this they'll actually do something to prevent it permanently.

 

Too bad the FTC has no spine to deal with repeat offenders like Google with more than a slap on the wrist.

post #4 of 30
Google, the complaint says, assured users that their habits would not be tracked.

 

See, listening to Google was the first mistake.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

See, listening to Google was the first mistake.

 

That's why they can't be trusted when they tell you your data is safe with them. Their "privacy policy" isn't worth the bandwith required to transmit it.

post #6 of 30
Someone needs to whack them, good hard and fast.
Edited by RobM - 1/28/13 at 10:27am
post #7 of 30
I use DuckDuckGo.com as much as possible for searching.
They claim they don't track or "filter bubble" you (tailor your results according to past searches.)
And there's almost no spam. And you can contribute to the project at
DuckDuckHack.com.

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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post #8 of 30
First of all, this is the UK, the land of public CCTV and George Orwell. I can't believe the UK courts would side with Apple and Safari users who expect such pre-9/11 notions such as "privacy." /s

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #9 of 30
Originally Posted by RobM View Post
Someone needs to whack them, good hard and fast.

 

Eh, they'd probably enjoy it. They need to have something primary about their business made illegal. That's better than any fine.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #10 of 30
What this thread needs is a tag team of google defenders.
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

What this thread needs is a tag team of google defenders.

Tag-team for what? That it didn't happen? It did. 

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post #12 of 30
TS, Yea - you're right. They probably would.
That was what I so ineloquently meant. A legal authority needs to spell it out loud and clear to those cowboys - who really are running roughshod over people's privacy and making huge money from doing so.

In any other situation they'd have been hung out to dry a long time ago.
The thing that gets me about it is - that advertisers actually believe all the web stats, and keep on paying the big G. Unreal.
post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

What this thread needs is a tag team of google defenders.
Tag-team for what? That it didn't happen? It did. 

Of course it did, but it's not like you to shrink from the challenge. Better tag out.
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Too bad this was already resolved with Google not admitting anything but paying it off anyway. 
 

But hey, maybe if the EU takes hold of this they'll actually do something to prevent it permanently.


That would be nice, but I doubt it will happen.

post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post


Of course it did, but it's not like you to shrink from the challenge. Better tag out.

What challenge? I'd have to believe they weren't in the wrong.

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post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

I use DuckDuckGo.com as much as possible for searching.
They claim they don't track or "filter bubble" you (tailor your results according to past searches.)
And there's almost no spam. And you can contribute to the project at
DuckDuckHack.com.

Okay, I've been using it, but several times now I noticed the search bar said something like http://secure.google.com, war does that mean? Do they use google as their engine?

I just tried it again and I isn't doing that at all. ??

Anybody know why there might be a lot of military brass all over gOogle hqtrs? Heard it third hand...
What is really factored into the price is a kind of perpetual sense of disbelief that any company could be as good as Apple is. ~Retrogusto
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What is really factored into the price is a kind of perpetual sense of disbelief that any company could be as good as Apple is. ~Retrogusto
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post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

I use DuckDuckGo.com as much as possible for searching.
They claim they don't track or "filter bubble" you (tailor your results according to past searches.)
And there's almost no spam. And you can contribute to the project at
DuckDuckHack.com.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by palomine View Post


Okay, I've been using it, but several times now I noticed the search bar said something like http://secure.google.com, war does that mean? Do they use google as their engine?

I just tried it again and I isn't doing that at all. ??

Anybody know why there might be a lot of military brass all over gOogle hqtrs? Heard it third hand...

 

I use Startpage. It uses Google for the search engine but keeps the searcher anonymous.

 

https://startpage.com

 

This is the info that comes up when you click the "details" link regarding them using Google as the search engine:

 

 

Startpage offers you Web search results from Google in complete privacy!

When you search with Startpage, we remove all identifying information from your query and submit it anonymously to Google ourselves. We get the results and return them to you in total privacy.

Your IP address is never recorded, your visit is not logged, and no tracking cookies are placed on your browser. When it comes to protecting your privacy, Startpage runs the tightest ship on the Internet. Our outstanding privacy policy and thoughtful engineering give you great search results in total anonymity. Here are some of our key features:

  • Free proxy surfing available.
  • Praised by privacy experts worldwide.
  • Twelve-year company track record.
  • Third-party certified.
  • No IP address recorded.
  • No record is made of your searches.
  • No identifying or tracking cookies used.
  • Powerful SSL encryption available.

To learn more, check out our privacy page and read our privacy policy. We're confident you'll like what you see.

Why does Apple bashing and trolling make people feel so good?

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Why does Apple bashing and trolling make people feel so good?

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post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

What challenge? I'd have to believe they weren't in the wrong.

 

So, at least GG admits that Google can't be trusted.

post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobM View Post

Someone needs to whack them, good hard and fast.

 

This is an unfortunate phrase.  

 

It sounds far more like you want to jerk them all off than you want to punish them.  

post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

See, listening to Google was the first mistake.

 

Google are a bunch of poopy-heads lately.  

 

They even started blocking News searches on my phone because I won't give them my location data.  It's probably a bug due to their need/want to localise the results, but still.  Maybe I want to search the news without localising the results.  If Google still wants to be the defacto standard they shouldn't be blocking services simply because you don't want to give them the data they want.  

 

The real problem is that there isn't an alternative.  I have hopes Melissa Meyer can do something with "Yahoo!" (hate that name), but the odds are against her. 

post #21 of 30

A tad off-topic but a report today pegged American Express as the most trusted company in America when it comes to privacy. Hewlett-Packard and Amazon1bugeye.gifcame in at 2 and 3 respectively. Google's not on the list. Neither is Apple.

 

The only internet company in the top 20 was Mozilla

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/1/prweb10363796.htm

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post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

This is an unfortunate phrase.  

It sounds far more like you want to jerk them all off than you want to punish them.  

lol - No, that's an unfortunate interpretation. And long way from what I had in mind :-)
post #23 of 30

IMO, Dolphin 3D for iOS/Android > Safari or Chrome.

post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

A tad off-topic but a report today pegged American Express as the most trusted company in America when it comes to privacy. Hewlett-Packard and Amazon1bugeye.gif
came in at 2 and 3 respectively. Google's not on the list. Neither is Apple.



The only internet company in the top 20 was Mozilla

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/1/prweb10363796.htm

So should people conclude Apple and Google are equally disreputable?
Or are you going to get all wide eyed and innocent and claim you have no agenda in posting that crap?
post #25 of 30

I also use Start Page on my iDevices and I have used Duckduckgo. I am moving to mail.com and getting rid of my google mail except my junk mail account which I never look at anyway.

 

I sent an email to Tim suggesting he include both Duckduckgo and Start Page to Settings ->Safari -> General->Search Engine. Great way to have Larry's cake and eat it to, again and again and again.

 

If enough did this maybe the point would get through and Apple could just say they are answering the needs / requests of the customers.

When I find time to rewrite the laws of Physics, there'll Finally be some changes made round here!

I am not crazy! Three out of five court appointed psychiatrists said so.

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When I find time to rewrite the laws of Physics, there'll Finally be some changes made round here!

I am not crazy! Three out of five court appointed psychiatrists said so.

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post #26 of 30
Start Page, huh ?
Gonna give it a go. cheers

edit: lol have to enable java.
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post


So should people conclude Apple and Google are equally disreputable?

If that's what you choose to see. I figured you could see the real point: The average person doesn't look at privacy the same as the more tech-minded among us. Why do you think that neither Apple nor Google was mentioned?

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post #28 of 30

It is up to the individual who expects privacy to behave carefully.  Little Snitch told me google was tracking me to every website I visited following the change in gmail privacy settings last summer. I dropped my gmail account and two days latter they stopped collecting data in that way. 

 

What about ask.com for searches? I was told they do not keep search records. Is that correct?

post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenwire View Post

It is up to the individual who expects privacy to behave carefully.  Little Snitch told me google was tracking me to every website I visited following the change in gmail privacy settings last summer. I dropped my gmail account and two days latter they stopped collecting data in that way. 

 

What about ask.com for searches? I was told they do not keep search records. Is that correct?

Stay far far away from the Ask.com toolbar IMO. It's one of the most persistent ones I ever had the misfortune to find on one of my computers.

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post #30 of 30
Yesterday a UK judge denied Google's argument that the proper place for the lawsuit to be heard would be the US, so it will proceed as planned.
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