Friday, August 10, 2012

Google gets record fine over privacy bypassing cookies


The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has fined Google $22.5m for monitoring Apple Safari browser users even though they had a "do not track" privacy setting selected.

The fine is largest to date to be imposed by the FTC on a single company. According to the settlement agreement, Google does not have to admit any wrongdoing.

The FTC has fined Google for misrepresenting what it was doing, not for the methods it used to bypass Safari's privacy settings. The FTC launched an investigation after a Stanford University researcher reported that Google was bypassing browser privacy settings.

Google was found to be exploiting a Safari browser loophole that enable it to install monitoring-enabling cookies on web surfers machines through adverts on websites.

Privacy groups have welcomed the FTC's action against Google, saying it is vital that any organisation that seeks to override consumer choices about sharing their data is held to account.


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