Judge says Google find is "fair"

Back in August, Google was fined $22.5 million for allegedly bypassing Apple’s Safari browser security settings. While $22.5 million sounds like a lot of money, Consumer Watchdog didn't think the fine was big enough and appealed to the court for a larger fine against Google.

While the call for a larger fine was rejected, US District Judge Susan Illston has now approved the original $22.5 million fine. Judge Illston said that the fine was "fair, adequate, and reasonable."

The original case showed that Google had tricked millions of internet surfers who use the Safari browser into believing that their online activities were not tracked by the company if security settings weren't changed. Despite maintaining that it was not tracking Safari users web surfing habits, Google was using code that allowed the company to monitor the user's browsing habits.

The FTC concluded that Google was contradicting its public privacy assurances by using tracking code despite the fact that Google had promised to not mislead internet users about privacy practices.

Consumer Watchdog believes that a fine of $22.5 million won’t dissuade a company as wealthy as Google. According to the consumer rights group, Google generates about $22.5 million in revenue every four hours. However, the FTC sees the fine as a milestone because it is the largest fine the agency has ever placed against a company for civil violation.
The settlement with the FTC also allowed Google to deny liability for alleged tracking.

Source: AP

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