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.