All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis


Google settles for $22.5m fine in Safari privacy suit

09 Aug 2012
ftc-logo-gif

Google has agreed to pay a $22.5m fine to settle charges that the company misled users about the company's use of behaviour-tracking cookies.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said that the company would be paying a record fine over charges that users of the Safari web browser were served with cookies when visiting Google sites, circumventing the browser privacy settings.

According to the FTC, Google misled customers when it said that it would not use behaviour-tracking tools with Safari on its sites. As part of the settlement, the company will be required to bring its policies in line with the original promises made to users.

"The record setting penalty in this matter sends a clear message to all companies under an FTC privacy order," said FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz.

"No matter how big or small, all companies must abide by FTC orders against them and keep their privacy promises to consumers, or they will end up paying many times what it would have cost to comply in the first place."

The $22.5m figure has loomed over Google's head for some time. As far back as early July, reports have suggested that the company was looking to pay the fine in order to settle the case.

User privacy has long been an issue for Google, which relies on search and targeted advertising for the overwhelming majority of its revenues.

The company prompted an international outcry when officials learned that cars used to collect images for the Google Street view service were eavesdropping on activity from passing Wi-Fi networks.

Earlier this week, Google announced that it would be integrating Gmail message search into its web search engine, prompting V3 to question whether additional privacy concerns could surface for the company.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Shaun Nichols
About

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for V3.co.uk. He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

More on Privacy
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus
Poll

Windows 7 end of mainstream support

What are your plans for when Microsoft ends mainstream support for Windows 7 in January 2015?
10%
9%
3%
64%
14%

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
LG G3 in gold black and white

LG G3 vs Galaxy S5 video

We pit the two Korean firms' flagship smartphones against each other

Updating your subscription status Loading
Newsletters

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button
hpv3may

Getting started with virtualisation

Virtualisation can help you reduce costs, improve application availability, and simplify IT
management. However, getting started can be challenging

ibmv3may

Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

Senior Java Engineer - Software/ Web - London Bridge - 50-70k

One of the cities most revolutionary software companies...

R DEVELOPERS (MID - SENIOR) - London

R DEVELOPERS (MID - SENIOR) - London My client...

Wintel Infrastucture Architect / Wintel Consultant, London

Fantastic opportunity to work for an award-winning global...

Java Developer / Systems Developer (Java, C) – SURREY

Systems Developer / Java Developer (Java, C) – SURREY...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.