Privacy problems: Google sued by 10 million, WhatsApp violation and Government snoop Twitter

29 January 2013

Google could be facing a furious shitstorm in the UK, thanks to reports that they are bypassing privacy settings on Apple devices so they can observe users' behaviour via Safari. If this is true, Google could be looking at getting sued by 10m users.

The search giant has been accused of installing cookies in Safari which has seen the formation of a group of campaigners called Safari Users Against Google’s Secret Tracking, who have teamed up with law firm Olswang.

This comes on the back of Google coughing-up $22.5 million after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found it had illegally put ad-tracking cookies in Safari. There's potentially more trouble around the corner for Google as they've also started to detail their North Korea Google Maps, including one of the country's gulags. The Korean government will no doubt be kicking off about that.

Meanwhile, government requests for Twitter users' data has risen according to reports. The country most interested in spying on their subjects was the United States of America, but in total, 30 countries made requests for info. And Twitter, for the most part, are complying with governments, saying through their new 'transparency' site, that: "We believe the open exchange of information can have a positive global impact."

"To that end, it is vital for us and other internet services to be transparent about government requests for user information and government requests to withhold content from the internet; these growing inquiries can have a serious chilling effect on free expression – and real privacy implications."

And elsewhere, the hugely popular WhatsApp has been reportedly contravening international privacy laws thanks to the way it forces users to grant it access to their entire address book. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Dutch Data Protection Authority have released reports saying that the messenger app violates privacy laws.

Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the Dutch Data Protection Authority, explains: "This lack of choice contravenes (Canadian and Dutch) privacy law. Both users and non-users should have control over their personal data and users must be able to freely decide what contact details they wish to share with WhatsApp."


  • Alexis
    All well and good attempting to sue, but what precise losses have you have suffered and how can you prove it?
  • mikeypop
    Is it about claiming back losses, or trying to tell a massive business that willfully circumventing privacy controls without user's knowledge is a pretty shitty thing to do? I don't think it's unfair to ask what Google did with that data (and probably earned from it).
  • Sicknote
    Does anyone actually fucking care...?
  • pop f.
    I would love to fuck a fox
  • jiggle
    @sicknote agree with you, who cares? So you get some better targeted, more relevant ads. WHAT A DISASTER.
  • Employee m.
    Sensationalist article.

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