The Guardian is reporting that Google may be hit with a slew of lawsuits over the company's clandestine monitoring of Britons who use the Safari web browser on iPhones, iPads and Macs.
Google admits that it bypassed Safari security settings that blocked sites from tracking user habits through cookies. Last February, security researchers found that Google's DoubleClick ad network was storing cookies on devices even when users had chosen to block them.
In the US, Google paid the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) a US$22.5 million fine based on the same privacy invasion. In the UK, the Guardian reports that at least 10 iPhone users have started legal proceedings and dozens more are "being lined up." Plans are being made to form a group to make an "umbrella privacy action." The total class size is estimated at 10 million users.
News of the legal action was reported by the Sunday Times of London. Privacy advocate Judith Vidal-Hall was quoted as saying that Google was guilty of "electronic stalking" and was angered "that our data is either being sold or passed on to third parties." Vidal-Hall was one of two signees of a letter before action sent to Google execs in the US and UK.