[cryptome] The Cookie Monster: Vidall Hall v Goggle

  • From: "Douglas Rankine" <douglasrankine2001@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2015 18:04:42 +0100

And so we have it, a technically learned judge... at last

Quote from case notes<<<


Approved Judgment

Vidall Hall v Google Inc


Safari is the internet browser installed by Apple on all its products
designed to have internet access, namely iMac, Mac, iPad, iPhone and iPod


Unlike many other internet browsers, all versions of Safari made available
by Apple since the summer of 2011 were and are set by default to block Third
Party Cookies. One of the

main reasons why Safari was developed with this default setting was to
prevent advertising related tracking of the sort described at paragraph
4.3(b) above occurring by default, that

is, without the knowledge or consent of the user (the "default privacy


Since the default privacy settings would prevent the use of certain popular
web functions, such as the social 'like' buttons used to integrate third
party social features into websites, Apple

implemented into the default privacy settings a number of specific
exceptions to the default block on Third Party Cookies including as follows:

(a) Safari allowed Third Party Cookies to be sent to it if, during the
process of exchanging information with a third party domain to load third
party content, the browser

submitted a form to the third party domain (the "Form Submission Rule")

(b) Safari allowed Third Party Cookies to be sent to it if one cookie from
that domain was already present on the browser (the "One In, All In Rule")


The effect of the Double Click ID Cookie is said to be



the Defendant's Double-click service provides subscribing advertisers with a
service called Ad Sense. For the purpose of this service, subscribing
advertisers provide Ad sense with browsing information received as a result
of the

use of the Double-click ID Cookie in relation to the individual browsers
visiting their websites, as to which see further paragraph 7below



... The cookie value of the Defendant's Double-click ID Cookie is unique to
the browser to which it is sent.


Where an individual browser's design and settings allow it to accept Third
Party Cookies, the Double Click ID Cookie is sent to that browser during the
normal exchange of information that accompanies the display of a Google

advertisement, namely, during the submission of Browser Generated


Once the Double-click ID Cookie has been sent to an individual browser, the
Double-click ID Cookie allows the Defendant to recognise when that browser
visits a website displaying an advertisement from the Defendant's vast

advertising network and to correlate the Browser Generated Information for
individual browsers, thereby obtaining the following information:

(a) The website visited.

(b) The date on which the website was visited;

(c) The time at which the website was visited;

(d) The duration of the visit to the website;

(e) The pages of the website visited;

(f) The time spent visiting each page of the website;

(g) The advertisement(s) viewed;

(h) Information as to where the advertisement(s) was/were placed

on the website visited;

(i) The IP Address of the browser, as a result of which it is often possible
to determine approximate geographical location (to the nearest town or


Since the information set out above would be obtained by the Defendant on
each occasion that the browser visited any website displaying an
advertisement from the Defendant's advertising network, over time the
Defendant thereby obtained not only the information set out at paragraph 7.3
above in relation to each such website but also information as to:

(a) the order in which websites were visited; and

(b) the frequency with which

websites were visited.


As a result of the placing of a Double-click ID Cookie on to a user's
browser, the Defendant was thereby able to and did obtain and collate
private and/or personal information relating to users, including information
relating to:

(a)internet surfing habits as set out at paragraphs 7.3 and 7.4 above;

(b) interests, hobbies and pastimes;(c) news reading habits;

(d) shopping habits;

(e) social class;

(f) racial or ethnic origin;

(g) political affiliation or opinion;

(h) religious beliefs or beliefs of a similar nature;

(i) trade union membership;

(j) physical health;

(k) mental health;

(l) sexuality;

(m) sexual interests;

(n) age;

(o) gender;

(p) financial situation;

(q) geographical location.


The Defendant then aggregated browsers displaying sufficiently similar
patterns, including those of the Claimants, into groups with labels such as
"football lovers', "current affairs enthusiasts," which group labels its
Double-click service then offered to advertisers subscribing to Ad sense to
choose from when selecting the type of people that they wanted to direct
their advertisements to"

End of quote

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