Apple iPhone users sue Google for snooping on surfing

Google facing legal threats from British users, who claim it circumvented Apple’s browser security.

Google is facing legal action from British iPhone, iPad and Mac users, after it allegedly bypassed Apple's security settings to monitor their web-browsing behaviour.

At least 12 Apple device users have started legal action against the search giant, claiming Google was able to side-step the Safari web browser's security settings and install cookies - a piece of data that tracks web activity - without their knowledge or approval.

A letter has been sent to Google in both the US and UK, on behalf of two Apple users, one of which is Judith Vidal-Hall, former editor of Index on Censorship - a magazine that campaigns for freedom of expression.

Vidal Hall said: "Google claims it does not collect personal data but doesn't say who decides what information is 'personal'.

"Whether something is private or not should be up to the internet surfer, not Google. We are best placed to decide, not them."

A campaign group, 'Safari Users Against Google's Secret Tracking' has also been set up. Olswang, the law firm behind the legal action, suggests that it could encourage more of the 10million+ Apple users in the UK to also come forward. Currently it sits at 159 members, so it has a bit of a way to go.

Dan Tench of Olswang, said: "It is particularly concerning how Google circumvented security settings to snoop on its users. One of the things about Google is that it is so ubiquitous in our lives and if that's its approach then it's quite concerning."

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