Google admits no wrongdoing, but pays fine

Search giant Google has agreed to pay $17 million to settle allegations brought by 37 states and the District of Columbia over unauthorized browser tracking. Google will pay the fine to settle allegations that it placed unauthorized tracking cookies on web browsers in 2011 and 2012.
The $17 million fine comes months after Google agreed to pay $22.5 million to the FTC for the same practice of placing unauthorized tracking cookies.
Reports of Google and several other companies circumventing the default privacy settings of Apple’s Safari web browser and placing tracking cookies on computers without the user's knowledge first surfaced in February of 2012.

"Consumers should be able to know whether there are other eyes surfing the web with them. By tracking millions of people without their knowledge, Google violated not only their privacy, but also their trust," Attorney General Schneiderman said. "We must give consumers the reassurance that they can browse the Internet safely and securely. My office will continue to protect New Yorkers from any attempts to deliberately expose their personal data."
Unsurprisingly, Google hasn't admitted any wrongdoing while agreeing to pay the fine. A Google spokesperson said that the company took steps to remove the tracking cookies and noted that the cookies collected no personal information from the Apple browser.

Sources: WSJ,

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