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Google sued by Safari user over cookie debate

updated 03:55 pm EST, Tue February 21, 2012

Google now sued over blocking Safari cookies

Google is facing a new lawsuit for violating privacy rights on Apple's Safari web browser, Bloomberg reported. An Illinois man, Matthew Soble, claimed in the suit that Google sidesteps the computer settings that are designed to block monitoring of a user's whereabouts on the web. The lawyers representing Soble alleged that Google did so willfully and knowingly.

Soble aims to make the lawsuit a class-action case, hoping to attract other plaintiffs upset at the shift. The lawsuit was filed in a Delaware court.

Users of the Safari browser thought they were not being tracked if they set to block third-party cookies, with Google's scheme circumventing this setting by using a fake form to let cookies in and make +1 work where it would otherwise have been blocked. Consumer Watchdog also sent a letter to the FTC regarding Google's actions, demanding action.

Other companies, including Media Innovation Group, PointRoll, and Vibrant Media, are also said to be using the loophole to circumvent the blocks. Microsoft has claimed that Google was doing the same for Internet Explorer, although it has had its sincerity cast into doubt after doing little to address a known limitation and in some cases encouraging users to exploit what it was supposedly trying to stop.

by MacNN Staff



  1. qazwart

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The problem is that you have to show some sort of damage for most civil lawsuits. It doesn't necessarily have to be monetary (although that's the easiest). But, Google getting around your browser settings isn't much damage unless you can show you've been harmed by this action in some way. Without more evidence, there's not much proof that Google's action damaged the individual. It might be scummy and illegal, but you usually need damages in a civil suit.

  1. ac3boy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The creator of the dark net... suing Apple? LOL

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It was just a programming bug.

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