Google Must Pay Up $22.5 Million to FTC in Apple Safari Privacy Settlement
August 10, 2012 11:26 AM
comment(s) - last by
This is the largest ever given by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission
It has been confirmed that
Google will pay $22.5 million
to settle its case with Apple regarding bypassing Safari's security settings.
This move was predicted last month, when reports started circulating that Google's possible $22.5 million fine in the case would be the largest ever given by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Google was charged with bypassing Apple Safari user privacy settings in order to track people who had previously blocked that type of tracking. Google used special computer cookies to accomplish this.
These third-party cookies are used to track what users are doing on the Internet, which in turn helps Web giants like Google target users with suitable advertisements.
Wall Street Journal
ended up outing Google for placing the ad-tracking cookies on Safari users.
Google was able to
successfully get past Safari's browser settings for privacy
, which attempts to block certain types of cookies. Safari accepts first-party cookies (the Web site the user is on) or second-party cookies (the user's browser), but blocks third-party cookies, which links the browser to an entirely different Web site. The mobile version of Safari, which can be found on iOS devices, has the ability to block all cookies or none at all.
Google responded to the charges by saying that the tracking was unintentional, and that no harm came from the company's inadvertent actions.
"The FTC is focused on a 2009 help center page," said Google. "We have now changed that page and taken steps to remove the ad cookies."
But that's not stopping the FTC from slamming Google with the huge fine. Google wasn't required to admit any wrongdoing in the case to receive the charges/fine.
"No matter how big or small, all companies must abide by FTC orders against them and keep their privacy promises to consumers," said Jon Leibowitz, FTC chairman.
Google was ordered to disable the tracking cookies that were placed on Safari users.
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RE: Who cares...most of the affected probably use FB which targets ADs
8/11/2012 5:59:46 AM
Surely the point is that apparently millions of people did care enough to actually change their default setting and block attempt to track them.
You may think that pointless, you make think they shouldn't bother, but surely it's their choice.
And when users made that explicit choice to block tracking cookies what did Goggle do? Well they quite deliberately and secretly implemented a hack to bypass the privacy settings of many millions of people. Because it helped them make money.
There is no ambiguity here. Users said they didn't want information about them collected by anyone, and Google said we don't care what you want we are going to collect it anyway and not tell anyone we are collecting it.
If you don't find that appallingly unethical behaviour by a large company then clearly your ethical standards are not very high.
In fact we know why people leap to the defence of Google in this matter. It's because this involved Apple and Google. Apparently some morons actually think that any attack on Apple, on any of it's products or on any of it's customers is OK, and that conversely anything and everything Google does is great.
What sad saps.
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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