Olswang leads on landmark group legal action against Google

Olswang is advising a group of internet users on a landmark privacy claim against Google, as the search giant faces allegations of secretly tracking online usage.

The case centres around claims that Google installed tracking cookies on the computers and mobile devices of people using Apple’s Safari internet browser, enabling it to track their movements on the internet. 

The campaigning group – Safari Users Against Google’s Secret Tracking -  has instructed Olswang to co-ordinate the claim, which is thought to be the first case of its kind in the UK.

Olswang said its clients are seeking damages, disclosure and an apology from the company for a breach in confidence and privacy.

The first claimant to issue proceedings is privacy campaigner Judith Vidal-Hall, with at least 10 other Apple users reportedly planning to launch legal proceedings.

Vidal-Hall said in a statement: “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.”

Olswang litigation partner Dan Tench said: “Google has a responsibility to consumers and should be accountable for the trust placed in them. We hope that they will take this opportunity to give Safari users a proper explanation about what happened, to apologise and, where appropriate, compensate the victims of their intrusion.”