UK to decide whether Google tracking case can go to trial

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The UK's Supreme Court is to hear evidence alleging that Google bypassed security settings in Safari to gather sensitive information about users to sell to advertisers.

The court is not set to hear the case itself, but rather to determine from the evidence whether the complainant, Richard Lloyd, will be allowed to bring the case to court at all.

The dispute primarily concerns a claim that Google had intentionally worked around security settings in Safari in 2012, one that blocked third-party tracking cookies used for advertising, among other potential purposes. The UK's High Court had initially dismissed the case, as they had determined it would be too difficult to assess how many people had been affected.

However, an appellate court later ruled that the case would be a valid way for people to address concerns over data misuse.

"It is about giving millions of consumers access to justice when their rights are abused by global tech giants," said plaintiff Richard Lloyd, former director of consumer rights group Which?

The case aims to get compensation for 4.4 million users, and could potentially cost Google billions in compensation payments.

The case will be made over two days, though as the BBC News points out, a judgement could then take weeks to happen.

If it is decided that this case can be heard, it's expected that many other similar ones will likely follow.

TechUK, the group representing Google in the case, is seeking to have the case dismissed. It claims that allowing such cases could severely damage small companies who provide data-driven services in the United Kingdom.

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