Google Pays $22.5M for Privacy Penalty

Posted on 11 Jul 2012 at 9:10am

Google privacy penalty


Google is set to pay to pay $ 22.5m (£14.5m) to settle a privacy complaint. Because Google had bypassed a “do not track” setting selected in Apple’s Safari web browser.

The Wall Street Journal revealed that Google had exploited a loophole in Safari, It allowed Google’s cookies to be installed via adverts on popular websites even if users’ browsers’ preferences had been set to reject them. This allowed the firm to track people’s web-use habits even if they had not given it permission to do so.

Safari is the default browser on Apple’s iPhones, iPads and Macintosh computers; When installed, its preferences panel is set to reject tracking cookies by default. But Google had taken advantage of the fact that Safari allowed multiple cookies to be installed on a device as long as its user had given permission for a first cookie to be downloaded. Google code had made Safari think the user had filled in an “invisible form” allowing the process to be triggered.

Google spokesman said :

“We set the highest standards of privacy and security for our users. The FTC is focused on a 2009 help-centre page published more than two years before our consent decree, and a year before Apple changed its cookie-handling policy. We have now changed that page and taken steps to remove the ad cookies, which collected no personal information, from Apple’s browsers.”