Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is being targeted by a legal campaign from U.K. users of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) products. The legal action is in connection with Google’s tracking of the use of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s Safari web browser.
The tech giant bypassed the browser’s security settings to force it to show Google+ buttons on advertisements in the browser. In November Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) settled with the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S. for $22.5 million over the same issue.
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ZDNet reports that the U.K. group Safari Users Against Google’s Secret Tracking is now working with a law firm to put together legal claims just in time for the nation’s sixth annual Data Privacy Day. Thus far one person has decided to pursue legal action against Google. According to the law firm handling the claims, Google breached the privacy of their clients, who are “now seeking damages, disclosure and an apology” from the search engine giant.
The group claims that the tracking was accomplished by installing cookies on PCs and mobile devices without the authorization of users, even though there were privacy and security settings that should have prevented such cookies or other tracking files from being installed. The cookies were reportedly installed through the tech giant’s DoubleClick ad network, which would then target ads at specific users according to their searches on the Safari web browser.
Last year when Google settled with the FTC, it admitted to doing it, but it has reportedly stopped tracking Safari users. Google avoided a complete federal investigation in the U.S. by agreeing to an early settlement. Authorities accused the tech giant of breaking a promise it made in 2011 when it settled with the FTC over issues with Google Buzz.
U.S. authorities did not require Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) to admit to wrongdoing in connection with the Safari tracking allegations.