Legal action imminent as Google loses appeal

Google is on the verge of being sued in the UK by a group called Safari Users Against Google's Secret Tracking after it lost an appeal against the latter's intent to sue over illegal and clandestine tracking of their online browsing.

The group contended that Google bypassed Safari browser's security settings to monitor and collate users' online browsing details and targeted them with personalized advertisements based on their usage.

The infringements have been alleged to have occurred for a period of nine months between summer 2011 and spring 2012. If found guilty, Google could be held liable to pay damages to the group.

This could be the first-ever 'class action' suit to be brought against Google in the UK since the company managed near-global domination with its online search and e-mail services.

The group is being represented by law firm Olswang. Dan Trench, partner at the firm, said that the case is about "whether British consumers actually have any right to hold Google to account in this country."

If held guilty, Google could look at more ethical means to track online browsing and consumer preferences for personalized advertisements in UK and elsewhere. It should also prompt enterprises running web browsers to tighten their security settings and avoid an impression of being light on security by the online community.

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