back to article £3bn Google sueball over Safari Workaround bounces through UK Court of Appeal

Google has lost its attempt to squash a High Court lawsuit that could see the firm stung for £3bn over its exploitation of a loophole in Apple's Safari browser. The Court of Appeal, sitting at London's Royal Courts of Justice this morning (PDF), upheld former Which? director Richard Lloyd's attempt to start a not-quite-class- …

  1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    If only

    we had companies that weren't so evil....

    <sigh>

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What now then Google?

    Move everyone you currently employ offshore and claim that you don't to any business here?

    Pay your taxes? No, not the minsicule amount you hoodwinked the HMRC with, the real figures. You know the ones in that other set of books you have hidden under the bosses tabel...

    Fess up, pay the money to get to go away?

    Or Fight?

    You are evil so why not admit it and get on with life.

  3. Dinanziame Silver badge
    Meh

    "Tends of hours of profit"... Still, you have to wonder what they were thinking.

    1. Tigra 07
      Devil

      RE: Dananziame

      "Still, you have to wonder what they were thinking"

      They were thinking of the money. Same as when they scooped up all that WiFi traffic with their cars. Google is a data hoarder and no longer cares about breaking the law. It's all about the monetisation from personal data, and that data must be gathered by any means possible.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Funk the law till they get caught, get the court case run for years, pay a token fine. Rinse and repeat for the next law they don't want to obey. Do it enough times and drag them on long enough with all fines going to lawyers then next time people will think twice about even trying. Corporations and businesses are deliberately set up this way, they aren't people, you can't put a corporation in jail so laws don't really apply in the traditional sense.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yes. If "3 strikes you're out" is good enough for the plebs then something similar should apply to businesses: 3 strikes and 3 members of the board of directors (randomly selected by the court) are banned from being board members of any company for 3 years.

        However, I suspect the result will simply be ever more desperate appeal on top of failed appeal as the directors desperately cling on to the gravy train and postpone the inevitable.

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          The board members would just give themselves contracts that have a 3 years worth of salary+bonus termination clause. 3 strikes and the company gets broken up would be a much bigger incentive to be nice.

        2. Tigra 07
          WTF?

          RE: AC

          3 years is too lenient. Loopholes also need to be closed. Person A is banned from running a company - the result is often that Person A's cousin/brother/wife instantly gets promoted to the board.

        3. swm Silver badge

          On conviction you have to jail the entire board of directors.

        4. DavCrav

          "Yes. If "3 strikes you're out" is good enough for the plebs then something similar should apply to businesses: 3 strikes and 3 members of the board of directors (randomly selected by the court) are banned from being board members of any company for 3 years."

          Or just three strikes and the company is liquidated.

  4. aks

    More money for lawyers.

    Google could argue that Apple were at fault for preventing users from receiving relevant advertising. I certainly see no loss to the end user.

    Personally, I block all personalisation and would like to see that made easier but do understand why sellers want to provide personalised "information" and why some people prefer that.

    1. not.known@this.address

      "I certainly see no loss to the end user"

      And therein lies part of the problem - no offence to you, aks, but the damage is not always visible. In this case it's the loss of privacy and Google's assumption that they should be free to sell your internet behaviour to anyone with enough money.

      Yes, you see the targeted ads and you know that Car Manufacturer A or Bed Shop B have paid to know you've been looking at cars or headboards and it's a pretty safe bet that the Alphabet Soup agencies will be given a heads-up if you start plotting to buy a secret lair in an extinct volcano, but its when you suddenly start receiving "unsolicited" mail from political groups who "just happen" to be talking to people in your area, or the ads start including stuff you've only mentioned in personal emails and not searched online for that some people will begin to wonder what is going on.

      And do you trust Google to never, ever have a security failure that lets 'unauthorized' people access your data? Or, bearing in mind how long it took TalkTalk to confess to their FIRST break-in, do you trust Google to warn you that someone else may have had a look at EVERYTHING you have been doing online? Or, assuming that you are tech-savvy enough to block everything they have watching you, are all your friends and family, and anyone else you deal with?

      I realise that many people don't see a problem with "over-sharing" - just look at Twitter and Facebook - but not everyone out there is pure of heart and honest of intention and it's one thing for someone to decide they want to share their entire life with World+Dog but quite another for a company with a legal duty to protect you selling you out for less than a couple of pieces of silver.

  5. Oengus

    Go for the jugular

    Google has since spent tens of hours' worth of profits to make people complaining about this shut up and go away.

    Courts have got to hit these companies where it hurts. This was obviously wilflul and deliberate so the penalty should have a serious sting (a double digit percentage of global turnover of the "family of companies" and have the penalty increase the more they drag it through the court system). That is the only way to ensure that these companies may stop and think before they do similar things in future.

    1. sbt
      Big Brother

      Tens of hours' worth of profits to save £3 billion

      That makes good business sense, if you're Google. Since I'm not, I hope they lose bigly.

      At least the GDPR now provides for turnover-based penalties (for more recent data misuse; this is Google, I'm sure there'll be another incident soon).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Go for the jugular

      The devils advocate would say it was "wilful and deliberate" for apple to modify pages to change the users experience.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Horse? Stable Door?

    2010 and 2011? But what's being misused or stolen in October 2019?

  7. devnull791101

    muh "Pay your taxes? No, not the minsicule amount you hoodwinked the HMRC with, the real figures." nonsense.

    HMRC has whole divisions of people who investigate this lot, if you want to blame someone for low tax income from multi-national companies blame the EU which encourages them to make use of tax competition within the union.

    1. Adelio Silver badge

      Tax.....

      The main issue is that there are too many vested interests to tax laws to be substantially changed.

      Politians and civil servants hoping to get on the corporate gravy trains.... Political contributions...

      etc....

      I doubly that ANY reasonable person can honestly say that the tax laws in ALL countries do NOT favour large companies (with deep pockets).

      Tax is too complicated and seems to be designed so that the large corporations can avoid paying rates of tax anywhere near what a small company in the same country pays.

    2. Paul Smith

      Tosh and nonsense! (Did I get the accent right?)

      These companies and high net worth individuals that you think don't pay enough tax? Every one of them pays every penny of the tax that UK law demands of them. And who makes the law in the UK? Your elected politicians, so please stop blaming other people for your problems.

      1. Huw D

        Re: Tosh and nonsense!

        You're 'havin' a giraffe, sunshine.

        They pay the tax on the bare minimum they can get away with. That's why you get the company that actually "earns" the money being registered in a country with a low corporate tax rate or that gives "benefits", such as Ireland or The Netherlands.

        The Directors' "pay" will probably be a loan from a consulting company based in the Bahamas that invoices the company in the previous paragraph.

      2. DavCrav

        "And who makes the law in the UK? Your elected politicians,"

        who are all bribed by the rich to create the loopholes in the first place.

        "so please stop blaming other people for your problems."

        I agree, I should blame myself for living in a country where the rich pay politicians to influence the laws so that they can continue to pay politicians to influence the laws.

        The only way out of that system would be a coup, I guess.

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