GOOGLE SNUBS UK LAW AS BEING IRRELEVANT TO GOOGLE – Google claims that it is above, beyond and immune to British law; a statement that now invokes more fury from internet privacy campaigners.
I’ve written a lot about Google and their underhanded corporate policies of avoiding taxes, profiteering from terrorist activities, profiteering from child pornography and even manipulating their own search algorithms to squash any potential competitor.
When it comes to your privacy Google’s position was made perfectly clear by Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt who said; “If you don’t want Google knowing what you are doing its best you don’t do it in the first place.”
It didn’t stop there for last week Google announced that Gmail users had no right to privacy after it was discovered that Google scans and reads all emails that pass through its service in order to deliver relevant advertising to the user.
What is Google? Google is an advertising company. It’s often mistaken for being simply an easy way to find what you are looking for on the internet but Google search is but a small cog in Google’s vast arsenal of businesses that are all designed for one purpose… steal your private information so they can deliver up advertisements tailored to your needs.
Look carefully at the Google structure; there’s Google Search that carefully monitors what you search for so that the search results can deliver up advertisements from their Google AdWords business.
Google AdWords is propagated mostly by other websites through a publisher account known as Google AdSense. The truth is that Google relies heavily on millions of websites around the globe to act as their advertising network – something that meebal.com refuses to be part of due to the way Google captures private information and the often vile material, such as terrorism and child pornography, it makes money from… we refuse to be part of an organization that will go to any lengths to accumulate wealth in order to become untouchable or beyond the law.
Google Street View is another arm that Google initiated in order to map the streets of the earth. However investigators soon uncovered the sinister plot that Google was illegally tapping into homeowners wi-fi connects and stealing their personal data – that’s more data to analyze what you do and when you do it in order to push advertising at you.
The final piece of the puzzle is Google Glass; a device people where like glasses but these will allow you to interact with an onboard computer, capture photographs, record video and also ears drop and record other people’s private conversations.
If Google ever manages to get this product passed by the privacy laws then you can kiss goodbye to any privacy you might think you have for this is the next intrusive step Google is taking so that it can profit from your everyday activities.
In a recent move by Google to spy on people it is being accused of illegally monitoring British consumers by bypassing privacy settings on mobile devices, such as the iPhone or iPad. This move allows Google to track a users browsing history so that it can learn buying patterns.
Essentially the lawsuit centers on Apple’s internet browser, Safari. The initial factory settings installed by Apple set the browser to ‘block cookies’ which is data that can be used to track browsing and shopping habits; these habits are then sold to advertisers.
An independent group has now issued legal proceedings against Google but Google is claiming that it is not subject to British Law, due to jurisdiction issues, and therefore is attempting to have the lawsuit thrown out.
According to the lawsuit Google bypassed this cookie block to ensure it can collect data; an action the group suing say is illegal.
Is it illegal? According the U.S and British Law it is but Google is arguing that such a lawsuit cannot be made outside of its company’s legal jurisdiction.
A similar claim for such a breach of privacy was made recently and despite Google’s vast army of expensive lawyers it was forced to pay nearly $23 million in compensation to the group members.
“It is deeply worrying for a company with millions of British users to be brazenly saying they do not regard themselves bound by UK law. Regulators need to step up and ensure that when citizens are illegally tracked against their wishes, the companies riding roughshod over their privacy is held to account.” Nick Pickles, Director of Big Brother Watch
It appears that Google believes it is powerful enough to simply walk over any Government and legislator in order to please itself as to what it can and cannot do.
The next question is… ‘Does Google really care?’
Payouts for compensation can be very expensive but when we look at British Law the worst thing that can happen for Google is to face a fine from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and that the maximum fine that could be levied is a poultry £500,000.
It’s not much of a deterrent when Google turns over $40 billion a years from its advertising sales so it’s likely that Google, if it can’t fight this issue of jurisdiction, will simply accept the fine and carry on with its illicit business of stealing personal information.
I’ve broached this subject before and I’ll do it again. Every one of us has the power to bring Google to book; you simply need to stop using its services, such as Google Search, Gmail, YouTube and other Google services.
Should consumers and website owners make a stand against Google before they are able to ignore any laws on privacy for the continued financial gain? Please leave your comments below.