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Judge rubber stamps $22.5m Google's Safari privacy breach fine

19 Nov 2012

US District judge Susan Illston has approved a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fine of $22.5m against Google circumventing Safari's users privacy settings.

The FTC levied the fine on Google earlier this year after the search giant was found to have breached Safari users' privacy by serving cookies from its sites against the users' wishes. But consumer advocacy groups had wanted the fine to be increased.

"We're glad the court agreed there was no merit to this challenge," a Google said in a statement.

US advocacy group The Consumer Watchdog had said it felt the $22.5m fine would be a meagre amount for a multi-billion dollar company like Google.

The Consumer Watchdog also recently called upon the FTC to force Google to divest itself of its Motorola Mobility subsidiary. In a recent letter to the FTC, The Consumer Watchdog said Google was using its recent acquisition of Motorola Mobility patents to hurt market competition.

"The Federal Trade Commission's role in keeping Google's abuses in check is essential. The internet is too important to allow an unregulated monopolist to dominate it," wrote Consumer Watchdog's Privacy Project director John Simpson in a statement.

Earlier this year, Google acquired Motorola Mobility. Google stated in a recent Security and Exchange Commission filing that it paid $5.5bn for Motorola Mobility patents alone.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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