Google is embroiled in a legal fight with UK internet users who are suing the internet giant for allegedly breaching their privacy.
Google asked the High Court on Monday to rule that the forthcoming case be heard in the US, where it is based, rather than in England.
The case brought by three British users is significant because it touches on growing public concern about online privacy and use of personal data.
The claimants, who include Judith Vidal-Hall, a self-employed editor, and two directors of IT firms, are suing Google over what they claim was the clandestine tracking and collation of information on their internet usage on the Apple Safari browser between summer 2011 and spring 2012, which they say was carried out without their knowledge.
In written arguments submitted to the pre-trial hearing, the users claim the information obtained by Google "was aggregated and sold to advertisers who used its DoubleClick advertising service."
Google was able to obtain information in areas such as which websites they had visited, and was able to track surfing habits, and collect information on areas such as users' interests, hobbies, shopping habits, social class and political and religious beliefs, as well as information about their health and financial situation, the written submissions claim.
Google's actions "are likely to have affected millions of users in the UK and around the world in respect of which it must have made a substantial proportion of its advertising revenue profit," the written arguments allege.
About 170 people have contacted Olswang, the law firm bringing the claim over misuse of private information and breach of confidence, although the current action is being brought on behalf of a small group of test claimants.