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MacRumors
Jul 10, 2012, 11:32 AM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/10/google-and-ftc-near-deal-for-record-22-5-million-fine-over-safari-privacy-circumvention/)


http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/02/googlelogo-150x55.jpg

The Wall Street Journal reports (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303567704577517081178553046.html) that Google and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission are nearing a deal that would see Google paying a record $22.5 million fine over its tactics to circumvent privacy settings (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/02/17/google-under-fire-for-circumvention-of-cookie-settings-in-safari-for-ios-to-track-users/) in Safari on iOS to track users' behavior.The fine is expected to be the largest penalty ever levied on a single company by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. It offers the latest sign of the FTC's stepped-up approach to policing online privacy violations, coming just six months after The Wall Street Journal reported on Google's practices.The case centers on a loophole in Safari's default privacy settings, with Google taking advantage of the hole to make the browser think that the user was interacting with a given ad, thus allowing a tracking cookie to be installed. With that cookie installed, it became easy for Google to add additional cookies and to track users across the web as they visited other sites displaying ads from Google's networks.

Google has argued that the tracking was unintentional and that it did not harm consumers, but the Federal Trade Commission pointed to previous statements by Google regarding Safari's privacy settings as evidence that the company was misrepresenting its privacy practices.

Google's tactics are also under scrutiny from a number of state attorneys general, who may yet pursue additional action against the company.

Article Link: Google and FTC Near Deal for Record $22.5 Million Fine over Safari Privacy Circumvention (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/10/google-and-ftc-near-deal-for-record-22-5-million-fine-over-safari-privacy-circumvention/)



nepalisherpa
Jul 10, 2012, 11:34 AM
Good!

adildacoolset
Jul 10, 2012, 11:34 AM
They deserve it. They shouldn't find exploits just for their advantage and violate users.

Aodhan
Jul 10, 2012, 11:35 AM
Even though Chrome sounds like a good browser, this is why I don't use it. I just do not trust Google. I just get the sinking feeling years from now we'll find out Google has been tracking everything you do in your browser.

\-V-/
Jul 10, 2012, 11:38 AM
More reason not to use Chrome. Then again... if there's data you don't want to be used this way in general, you shouldn't be putting it online. Still a lame move on Google's part.

KdParker
Jul 10, 2012, 11:39 AM
Well. you can bet chrome does same kind of tracking

AbyssImpact
Jul 10, 2012, 11:40 AM
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1396386

nuff said.

KdParker
Jul 10, 2012, 11:41 AM
More reason not to use Chrome. Then again... if there's data you don't want to be used this way in general, you shouldn't be putting it online. Still a lame move on Google's part.

putting online and surfing the web are totally different things. You should be able to surf around and not have Google tracking you.

Leonard1818
Jul 10, 2012, 11:41 AM
Yeah, this really did tarnish Googles otherwise chromy reputation (all puns fully intended)

nagromme
Jul 10, 2012, 11:42 AM
This will hit Google hard. They won’t easily swallow that amount, at least at first

But then they’ll lift a second sofa cushion. Problem solved!

RedCroissant
Jul 10, 2012, 11:45 AM
It's pretty awesome that the fine is substantial as opposed to a simple slap on the wrist and being told not to do it again.

I didn't use Google services much at all before this story first broke and stopped using Google almost completely afterward.

It's also nice to see Apple moving away from Google as a business partner and perhaps this story will cause many of the consistent Google users to reconsider their use.

AbyssImpact
Jul 10, 2012, 11:49 AM
Is it time to sell GOOG and buy AAPL?

deannnnn
Jul 10, 2012, 11:50 AM
They can afford it.

vampyr
Jul 10, 2012, 11:52 AM
I liked Google back when they created a good search engine.

Now I hate Google because they have littered the internet with advertising.

Pivs
Jul 10, 2012, 11:54 AM
Even though Chrome sounds like a good browser, this is why I don't use it. I just do not trust Google. I just get the sinking feeling years from now we'll find out Google has been tracking everything you do in your browser.

Pretty sure they're already tracking us and not just in the browser. Give the privacy policy a read http://www.google.com/policies/privacy/. It's pretty enlightening and also a little creepy in my opinion.

ugahairydawgs
Jul 10, 2012, 11:54 AM
Every now and again I start thinking "you know....Google isn't all that bad. Maybe I'll start using some more of their services".

Then articles like this come out and I remember why I quit using their stuff in the first place.

bryanescuela
Jul 10, 2012, 11:57 AM
Kill the wabbit.... Kill the wabbit...

CAO 303
Jul 10, 2012, 12:04 PM
What's the alternative? Bing it!

SockRolid
Jul 10, 2012, 12:08 PM
It offers the latest sign of the FTC's stepped-up approach to policing online privacy violations...


Stepped up evil -> stepped up fines. Makes perfect sense.

----------

I liked Google back when they created a good search engine.

Now I hate Google because they have littered the internet with advertising.

And they've even polluted their own search results with pay-for-placement ads.
How the mighty have fallen.

Consultant
Jul 10, 2012, 12:09 PM
It seems that Google can no longer fool regulators.

serogers1970
Jul 10, 2012, 12:12 PM
What's the alternative? Bing it!

Or go with Yahoo. Yahoo has always been my homepage/email/search engine.
Too bad Firefox has gone to complete crap in the past year (AKA past 10 full number updates). Not a fan of any of the three browsers, but Chrome is the lesser of the three evils in my opinion.

dokujaryu
Jul 10, 2012, 12:12 PM
Yet another example of how suing companies for things like this makes no difference. Google won't even feel that. Just making them admit they hacked browsers will cost them more in brand damages.

flipnap
Jul 10, 2012, 12:16 PM
ever since google got busted driving around europe stealing wifi data, then saying "oh we didnt know we were doing that, its a bug" i stopped trusting them.. and once again theyre showing what kind of snakes they are. They couldve been a really cool company and gone far but greed is a powerful force.

deannnnn
Jul 10, 2012, 12:17 PM
To be perfectly honest, I don't understand why people freak out about these "privacy concerns." It's not like they're stealing your social security number or your credit cards, they're tracking your web habits to better tailor their services to you. I'd rather have ads specifically designed for me than just random whatever. They're not tricking me into buying anything, they're just saying hey, you looked at t-mobile.com recently, here's what they offer if you're still interested.

louis Fashion
Jul 10, 2012, 12:20 PM
Hey wait, they track ME and the GOVERNMENT gets the fine cash?
I want my cut.

flipnap
Jul 10, 2012, 12:21 PM
deann. i think theres two parts, one is people dont like being tracked. and two, it sets up an idea that can be used for bad things. Imagine going to a website to do research on cancer, then get a call from your insurance company upping your premiums. If google can track your activity and sell the info, what makes you think theyll stop at consumer advertising?

thats the one that scares me.

JarScott
Jul 10, 2012, 12:22 PM
Wow. Google really is sinking low since Android. They're thieves and pirates.

marksman
Jul 10, 2012, 12:22 PM
Google does Evil.


If I were google I would embrace my new face and just tell everyone they are evil

lincolntran
Jul 10, 2012, 12:26 PM
To be perfectly honest, I don't understand why people freak out about these "privacy concerns." It's not like they're stealing your social security number or your credit cards, they're tracking your web habits to better tailor their services to you. I'd rather have ads specifically designed for me than just random whatever. They're not tricking me into buying anything, they're just saying hey, you looked at t-mobile.com recently, here's what they offer if you're still interested.

One, I rather not have ad at all.

Two, showing ads is just a very small part of what they can do with generic data. They can use your behaviors for ao much more if they want to. Who to say that they're not doing it now. Remember the day where psychologists have to ask you to fill out surveys just to do their research? Those questionnaires were pretty generic too.

unplugme71
Jul 10, 2012, 12:26 PM
Hey wait, they track ME and the GOVERNMENT gets the fine cash?
I want my cut.

so true

Peace
Jul 10, 2012, 12:27 PM
It's pretty awesome that the fine is substantial as opposed to a simple slap on the wrist and being told not to do it again.

I didn't use Google services much at all before this story first broke and stopped using Google almost completely afterward.

It's also nice to see Apple moving away from Google as a business partner and perhaps this story will cause many of the consistent Google users to reconsider their use.

Substantial ?

Allow me to put this into perspective.

During the American NFL season some players get fined $25,000 for some kind of infraction. These players average ..umm..say $5 Million a year.
Most people consider this nothing. They say " hey. The guys a millionaire. It's chump change to him. He will keep doing it."

Now Google.

They pay $25 Million and that sounds like a lot but it's not. Google brings in BILLIONS of dollars a year. It's chump change to them also.

They will do other things..

;)

lincolntran
Jul 10, 2012, 12:29 PM
Hey wait, they track ME and the GOVERNMENT gets the fine cash?
I want my cut.

Just like you wOrked hard for that bonus money and the government take 1/3 of that.

Thunderhawks
Jul 10, 2012, 12:38 PM
This will hit Google hard. They won’t easily swallow that amount, at least at first

But then they’ll lift a second sofa cushion. Problem solved!

They'll get to claim that as a tax deduction!

phillipduran
Jul 10, 2012, 12:43 PM
Do no evil.

atakordie
Jul 10, 2012, 12:44 PM
Hey wait, they track ME and the GOVERNMENT gets the fine cash?
I want my cut.

Exactly. This is like a criminal secretly gathering my info & habits, only to be found out by the police, then fined, and the police department gets the cash reward without even giving me a nod. They get money for our misfortune?

ristlin
Jul 10, 2012, 12:44 PM
Hey wait, they track ME and the GOVERNMENT gets the fine cash?
I want my cut.

Right away, sir!

$0.15 will be delivered to you shortly.

macrumors12345
Jul 10, 2012, 12:46 PM
With a fine like that, it's cheaper for Google to keep breaking the law and just pay the fine.

hobo.hopkins
Jul 10, 2012, 12:51 PM
That's nothing in terms of monetary value to a company as large as Google. I'm glad, however, that they did have to pay something. The potential class-action suits might worry me if I was Google.

rbonzer
Jul 10, 2012, 12:52 PM
ever since google got busted driving around europe stealing wifi data, then saying "oh we didnt know we were doing that, its a bug" i stopped trusting them.. and once again theyre showing what kind of snakes they are. They couldve been a really cool company and gone far but greed is a powerful force.

In this case, I actually believe that Google did not intend to do evil.

I find it utterly insane that people are still not securing their wi-fi and connecting to their email service not using SSL. Years ago I personally forgot my email password, but it was saved in my email client. I just downloaded a packet sniffer and was amazed how easy it was to see my email account/password in the clear.

samcraig
Jul 10, 2012, 12:55 PM
In this case, I actually believe that Google did not intend to do evil.

I find it utterly insane that people are still not securing their wi-fi and connecting to their email service not using SSL. Years ago I personally forgot my email password, but it was saved in my email client. I just downloaded a packet sniffer and was amazed how easy it was to see my email account/password in the clear.

I'm also pretty sure the case came down to one or a couple of programmers who put their own code in that wasn't sanctioned by Google. So to say the company was doing it wrong. Ultimately they are responsible - but it wasn't like it was mandated from the top or even requested.

Oletros
Jul 10, 2012, 12:59 PM
Good for the FTC, if you break the law you have to pay


If google can track your activity and sell the info, what makes you think theyll stop at consumer advertising?

They don't sell info

Rocketman
Jul 10, 2012, 12:59 PM
I noticed that virtually every federal agency has been announcing record fines of one sort or another. They must need the money. The fines are always long post facto for behavior that changed a few days after the letter was sent. The "victims" never get any compensation. This is a pure federal money grab.

Rocketman

ugahairydawgs
Jul 10, 2012, 01:00 PM
Substantial ?

Allow me to put this into perspective.

During the American NFL season some players get fined $25,000 for some kind of infraction. These players average ..umm..say $5 Million a year.
Most people consider this nothing. They say " hey. The guys a millionaire. It's chump change to him. He will keep doing it."

Now Google.

They pay $25 Million and that sounds like a lot but it's not. Google brings in BILLIONS of dollars a year. It's chump change to them also.

They will do other things..

;)

The number isn't substantial to them, but it is to me and you. The story and hit to the brand image will be a lot more tangible than cash. This is them being labeled as scummy and it coming on US Government letterhead.

Sensation
Jul 10, 2012, 01:05 PM
This is why you shouldn't use Apple products, they are slow, buggy and full of security holes.

Flitzy
Jul 10, 2012, 01:22 PM
Dear FTC,

A $22.5 million fine on a company worth billions does nothing to teach a lesson. Make it $22.5 billion and then we'll talk.

Until then, this isn't going to make Google any less arrogant. It will probably just embolden them more because they know they can get away with this stuff..

Robert.Walter
Jul 10, 2012, 01:25 PM
Record fine, meh...

This is chump change to a company googles size.

As opposed to having a deterrent effect, the fact that this will hurt not one bit, will likely encourage such push the limit behavior by Google, and others, in the future...

Edit: thought I was bringing something new here, but by reading other comments, I see I am not alone in my scorn for pathetically low regulatory fines...

samcraig
Jul 10, 2012, 01:26 PM
Dear FTC,

A $22.5 million fine on a company worth billions does nothing to teach a lesson. Make it $22.5 billion and then we'll talk.

Until then, this isn't going to make Google any less arrogant. It will probably just embolden them more because they know they can get away with this stuff..

Hmmm. Would you say the same if Apple had been brought up on charges by the FTC for their privacy violations? Something tells me you wouldn't.

rmwebs
Jul 10, 2012, 01:33 PM
Or go with Yahoo. Yahoo has always been my homepage/email/search engine.
Too bad Firefox has gone to complete crap in the past year (AKA past 10 full number updates). Not a fan of any of the three browsers, but Chrome is the lesser of the three evils in my opinion.

The problem is that Yahoo's search system is pretty inferior to Google's. As is Bing (which itsself is based on Yahoo).

Interestingly, Bing was literally stealing Google results for a while (no idea if it still is), so it shows how much of a lack in confidence MS must have in it. http://gizmodo.com/5748843/google-caught-bing-stealing-its-search-results

Many people put up with Google as there simply is no alternative.

For example:

There are no other decent free email services with a half decent webmail interface
There is nothing to rival youtube
There is nothing to rival maps (and no, Apple will not be a viable rival)
There is nothing to rival image search
There is nothing to rival Google Earth
etc

We need someone new to enter the market IMO.

Flitzy
Jul 10, 2012, 01:39 PM
There are no other decent free email services with a half decent webmail interface

The new Hotmail/MSN is actually quite nice and minimal.

There is nothing to rival youtube

Vimeo is much nicer, cleaner, and doesn't have the horrible kiddy community that Youtube has.

There is nothing to rival maps (and no, Apple will not be a viable rival)
There is nothing to rival image search

Have you used Bing? Their maps are absolutely ten thousand times better than Google and their image search is much nicer too. Give it a try.

There is nothing to rival Google Earth

Meh, Google Earth is a gimmick any way.

Stephen123
Jul 10, 2012, 01:41 PM
I'm having trouble believing that $22.5 Million is the largest fine the FTC has ever levied. That's not even pocket change for Google.

C.G.B. Spender
Jul 10, 2012, 01:41 PM
The problem is that Yahoo's search system is pretty inferior to Google's. As is Bing (which itsself is based on Yahoo).

Interestingly, Bing was literally stealing Google results for a while (no idea if it still is), so it shows how much of a lack in confidence MS must have in it. http://gizmodo.com/5748843/google-caught-bing-stealing-its-search-results

Many people put up with Google as there simply is no alternative.

For example:

There are no other decent free email services with a half decent webmail interface
There is nothing to rival youtube
There is nothing to rival maps (and no, Apple will not be a viable rival)
There is nothing to rival image search
There is nothing to rival Google Earth
etc

We need someone new to enter the market IMO.


If you really wanted you’d find some pretty good ones.

samcraig
Jul 10, 2012, 01:45 PM
The problem is that Yahoo's search system is pretty inferior to Google's. As is Bing (which itsself is based on Yahoo).

Interestingly, Bing was literally stealing Google results for a while (no idea if it still is), so it shows how much of a lack in confidence MS must have in it. http://gizmodo.com/5748843/google-caught-bing-stealing-its-search-results

Many people put up with Google as there simply is no alternative.

For example:

There are no other decent free email services with a half decent webmail interface
There is nothing to rival youtube
There is nothing to rival maps (and no, Apple will not be a viable rival)
There is nothing to rival image search
There is nothing to rival Google Earth
etc

We need someone new to enter the market IMO.

Funny - I think I read similar things here about Apple. That there's no real competition to the Apple "experience" yet Apple is praised and Google is "evil" because they've cornered the market. Even funnier is that people say Google doesn't/haven't been innovative. Yet no one else seems to be able to touch them with certain services.

That's why I enjoy being technology agnostic. The best device/service for the job. I don't care who it is. I'm not emotionally involved with my tech. Nor do I consider any company's success or failures my own (except the one I actually work for).

Shrink
Jul 10, 2012, 01:46 PM
I have been scolded for using stuff like AdBlock and DoNotTrack because by not being exposed to ads is "stealing"; i.e. not "paying" for what I am getting.

Perhaps, but Google's (and likely others) privacy violations eliminates any qualms or guilt I might have had for blocking anything I can possibly block.

Does it mean I am totally protected...of course not. But I will do everything in my power to retain what few vestiges of privacy that remain. Unfortunately that means the innocent (e.g. MR) suffer for the acts of a few.

rendevouspoo
Jul 10, 2012, 01:48 PM
"There's something inherently hilarious about the Federal govt fining someone for violating privacy." -asharp45

rmwebs
Jul 10, 2012, 01:50 PM
The new Hotmail/MSN is actually quite nice and minimal.



Vimeo is much nicer, cleaner, and doesn't have the horrible kiddy community that Youtube has.



Have you used Bing? Their maps are absolutely ten thousand times better than Google and their image search is much nicer too. Give it a try.



Meh, Google Earth is a gimmick any way.

I was genuinely listening (or should I say reading) right up until that final Earth comment.

1 - Vimeo has a MUCH smaller base than youtube
2 - Even the new hotmail is years behind Gmail (and still hellishly slow in Europe)
3 - Bing maps are good, and I do agree that they are in a lot of ways better than GMaps (Especially with the satellite imagery) but they dont have streetview.
4 - Bing image search is nowhere near as accurate as Google image search (probably because a lot of Google's image search stuff was manually added instead of by a spider).
5 - Earth may be a gimmick to you but its not for millions of others. I'm guessing you'd disagree if I called Siri a gimmick.

C.G.B. Spender
Jul 10, 2012, 01:55 PM
Funny - I think I read similar things here about Apple. That there's no real competition to the Apple "experience" yet Apple is praised and Google is "evil" because they've cornered the market. Even funnier is that people say Google doesn't/haven't been innovative. Yet no one else seems to be able to touch them with certain services.

That's why I enjoy being technology agnostic. The best device/service for the job. I don't care who it is. I'm not emotionally involved with my tech. Nor do I consider any company's success or failures my own (except the one I actually work for).

For many things TIME is the key. iPod for example - Apple nailed it when the time was right and no one was able to catch up. Same with search or maps. There were some at that time, but Google nailed it by providing superior product. Now it is basically impossible to beat iPod and beat Google search or Google maps.

Even if you had a very good product on par with the rival or even better you’d need a lot of time, your rival to screw up a few times and make a name for your product. NOT THAT EASY WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT.

----------

I was genuinely listening (or should I say reading) right up until that final Earth comment.

1 - Vimeo has a MUCH smaller base than youtube
2 - Even the new hotmail is years behind Gmail (and still hellishly slow in Europe)
3 - Bing maps are good, and I do agree that they are in a lot of ways better than GMaps (Especially with the satellite imagery) but they dont have streetview.
4 - Bing image search is nowhere near as accurate as Google image search (probably because a lot of Google's image search stuff was manually added instead of by a spider).
5 - Earth may be a gimmick to you but its not for millions of others. I'm guessing you'd disagree if I called Siri a gimmick.

Vimeo is about quality, Youtube is just a scarpheap now. Not what it was.
Gmail settings panel is confusing to say the least and UI is not what i would call lite and simple. iCloud mail web app UI is clean and settings are pretty easy to understand.

Edit: Fine new gmail Ui is pretty good, but i’m not a fan of those ads.

rmwebs
Jul 10, 2012, 02:01 PM
Funny - I think I read similar things here about Apple. That there's no real competition to the Apple "experience" yet Apple is praised and Google is "evil" because they've cornered the market. Even funnier is that people say Google doesn't/haven't been innovative. Yet no one else seems to be able to touch them with certain services.

That's why I enjoy being technology agnostic. The best device/service for the job. I don't care who it is. I'm not emotionally involved with my tech. Nor do I consider any company's success or failures my own (except the one I actually work for).

Completely agree. It gets on my nerves when we have members crying about Google being evil. What people cant seem to answer is what the issue is.

Here's how I see it:

Google record my location and browsing history. That the customises ads to match what my habits are. At no point is the information sold (that much has bee proven countless times) or passed to3rd party advertisers as Google control the whole system with adwords/adsense, so there is no need to pass the info outside the company.

This to me is basic advertising and a fact of life on the internet. It's akin to those annoying people who dial every number in the phonebook to sell you something, just in a much less annoying way.

If it's paying to keep the Google services on line then I have no problem with it at all.

I use Apple products and Google products on a daily basis. As long as both continue doing what I need/want them to do, I'll carry on using them...I really couldn't give a damn if they do store my details as I know that nothing will go wrong, my identity will not be stolen and my life will not be changed for the worse.

If we go down this 'Google is evil' route then we should really be saying all big corporations are evil. Apple use the exact same info on iAds, Bing and Yahoo use it for their paid ads, heck even Mac OS can track your activity and send it back to Apple if its enabled. Does this make these companies evil? Not in any way, shape or form. It would only make them evil if they were selling your personal details to a telesales company or being negligent with them.

----------

Vimeo is about quality, Youtube is just a scarpheap now. Not what it was.
Gmail settings panel is confusing to say the least and UI is not what i would call lite and simple. iCloud mail web app UI is clean and settings are pretty easy to understand.

You may be correct RE Vimeo, however if the content isnt there, its not really useful to just have good quality. It'll take a long time to beat YouTube, especially since its integrated into pretty much everything these days.

As for iCloud, I simply cant trust it. Apple have gone from the old iTools, to .Mac to MobileMe to iCloud, changing things and shutting the old stuff down in the process. Theres simply no way it can be seen as a reliable long term email option. For all we know Apple will get bored with it again in 2 years and move on to another service. It's reliability has also been an issue. Compared to the Google Apps Gmail package its very much behind. Gmail is very powerful, with support for external POP/IMAP accounts being fed into Gmail, full support for 2-factor authentication, labels, stars, a decent Mac notifier app, free phonecalls, etc. Plus you arent locked down to one platform. You can sync your gmail contacts and emails to your Mac, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, etc - iCloud cant do this and never will be able to do it.

C.G.B. Spender
Jul 10, 2012, 02:05 PM
Completely agree. It gets on my nerves when we have members crying about Google being evil. What people cant seem to answer is what the issue is.

Here's how I see it:

Google record my location and browsing history. That the customises ads to match what my habits are. At no point is the information sold (that much has bee proven countless times) or passed to3rd party advertisers as Google control the whole system with adwords/adsense, so there is no need to pass the info outside the company.

This to me is basic advertising and a fact of life on the internet. It's akin to those annoying people who dial every number in the phonebook to sell you something, just in a much less annoying way.

If it's paying to keep the Google services on line then I have no problem with it at all.

I use Apple products and Google products on a daily basis. As long as both continue doing what I need/want them to do, I'll carry on using them...I really couldn't give a damn if they do store my details as I know that nothing will go wrong, my identity will not be stolen and my life will not be changed for the worse.

If we go down this 'Google is evil' route then we should really be saying all big corporations are evil. Apple use the exact same info on iAds, Bing and Yahoo use it for their paid ads, heck even Mac OS can track your activity and send it back to Apple if its enabled. Does this make these companies evil? Not in any way, shape or form. It would only make them evil if they were selling your personal details to a telesales company or being negligent with them.

----------



You may be correct RE Vimeo, however if the content isnt there, its not really useful to just have good quality. It'll take a long time to beat YouTube, especially since its integrated into pretty much everything these days.



It’s not only about media quality, but content quality and the site is overall more pleasing.

MacDav
Jul 10, 2012, 02:41 PM
It's pretty awesome that the fine is substantial as opposed to a simple slap on the wrist and being told not to do it again.

I didn't use Google services much at all before this story first broke and stopped using Google almost completely afterward.

It's also nice to see Apple moving away from Google as a business partner and perhaps this story will cause many of the consistent Google users to reconsider their use.

It seems like a lot of money to you, but for google it's equal to about 23 cents. What's important here is not the money, but the fact that they've been exposed. Getting bad PR is more powerful than a fine. They will stop these practices to keep a good image. This goes for all Tech and other companies, including Apple. We need this kind of thing happening in government. That's were the really shady stuff goes on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svGDZOW-brA&feature=youtu.be

gnasher729
Jul 10, 2012, 03:12 PM
ever since google got busted driving around europe stealing wifi data, then saying "oh we didnt know we were doing that, its a bug" i stopped trusting them.. and once again theyre showing what kind of snakes they are. They couldve been a really cool company and gone far but greed is a powerful force.

The story I hear is that one engineer added that code fully intentionally, but without knowledge of his colleagues or superiors. What would make any software developer think it was a good idea, I don't know.


I'm also pretty sure the case came down to one or a couple of programmers who put their own code in that wasn't sanctioned by Google. So to say the company was doing it wrong. Ultimately they are responsible - but it wasn't like it was mandated from the top or even requested.

Saying that the company was doing it is of course right. They have the responsibility for everything their employees do in their role as employees. In many companies, employees have regular training in ethics. It seems Google wasn't very good at that.

Google record my location and browsing history. That the customises ads to match what my habits are. At no point is the information sold (that much has bee proven countless times) or passed to3rd party advertisers as Google control the whole system with adwords/adsense, so there is no need to pass the info outside the company.

This to me is basic advertising and a fact of life on the internet. It's akin to those annoying people who dial every number in the phonebook to sell you something, just in a much less annoying way.

That's not what this is about. This is about Google using clever tricks to get around people's privacy settings on their browser.


Yet another example of how suing companies for things like this makes no difference. Google won't even feel that. Just making them admit they hacked browsers will cost them more in brand damages.

Usually you get a higher fine for repeats.

user418
Jul 10, 2012, 03:19 PM
What's the alternative? Bing it!

But It's Not Google

rendevouspoo
Jul 10, 2012, 03:24 PM
Why don't Google, Apple, the government, Samsung, et al, just give each other $100,000,000 each in play money and call it a day.





That's not what this is about. This is about Google using clever tricks to get around people's privacy settings on their browser.

Is it not Apples fault that Safari wasn't good enough to not be exploited?

NY Guitarist
Jul 10, 2012, 03:40 PM
Good on the FTC for following up and taking action on this, but I bet this is just a minor "cost-of-doing-business" expense for Google.


For all those who think that Google tracking your internet use is OK, I agree. UNLESS you don't want them to and change your browser to facilitate that, and then Google circumvents your request to privacy by exploiting a loophole.

Totally low move Google... you are not to be trusted.

Google and Facebook, and so on, ARE "Big Brother". Don't let them get away with this cr@p.

----------

Is it not Apples fault that Safari wasn't good enough to not be exploited?

It was Google who bypassed YOUR browser settings to invade YOUR privacy. If someone find the key to YOUR house that doesn't give them permission for ILLEGAL entry.

rendevouspoo
Jul 10, 2012, 03:42 PM
It was Google who bypassed YOUR browser settings to invade YOUR privacy. If someone find the key to YOUR house that doesn't give them permission for ILLEGAL entry.

That's a terrible analogy. Not even remotely close. Terribly overreacted.

NY Guitarist
Jul 10, 2012, 03:45 PM
That's a terrible analogy. Not even remotely close. Terribly overreacted.

That's your opinion, not mine.

Thunderhawks
Jul 10, 2012, 03:55 PM
That's a terrible analogy. Not even remotely close. Terribly overreacted.

Better? :

More like your house is locked and they have no business to get in and look at your stuff.

But, they kept looking for a way in and then got in and looked at your stuff

hipnetic
Jul 10, 2012, 04:39 PM
I noticed that virtually every federal agency has been announcing record fines of one sort or another. They must need the money. The fines are always long post facto for behavior that changed a few days after the letter was sent. The "victims" never get any compensation. This is a pure federal money grab.
^^^This.

StyxMaker
Jul 10, 2012, 04:40 PM
To be perfectly honest, I don't understand why people freak out about these "privacy concerns." It's not like they're stealing your social security number or your credit cards, they're tracking your web habits to better tailor their services to you. I'd rather have ads specifically designed for me than just random whatever. They're not tricking me into buying anything, they're just saying hey, you looked at t-mobile.com recently, here's what they offer if you're still interested.

People 'freak out' because it's being done against their wishes and without their knowledge.

NewAnger
Jul 10, 2012, 04:57 PM
I have been scolded for using stuff like AdBlock and DoNotTrack because by not being exposed to ads is "stealing"; i.e. not "paying" for what I am getting.

Perhaps, but Google's (and likely others) privacy violations eliminates any qualms or guilt I might have had for blocking anything I can possibly block.

Does it mean I am totally protected...of course not. But I will do everything in my power to retain what few vestiges of privacy that remain. Unfortunately that means the innocent (e.g. MR) suffer for the acts of a few.

I used an adblocker on every browser on my Macs and block ads on this and every site I go to. I love that ads are blocked here and especially on Facebook.

I remember reading about some guys blog a few years back where he blocked people from his site who were using adblockers. Yes, people have a right to use ads on their own sites to help pay for server costs but we also have a right to block them.

user418
Jul 10, 2012, 06:02 PM
Whether we like it or not and whether we admit it or not, we are all tracked in some way, shape, form, or fashion 24/7/365.

Shrink
Jul 10, 2012, 06:18 PM
I used an adblocker on every browser on my Macs and block ads on this and every site I go to. I love that ads are blocked here and especially on Facebook.

I remember reading about some guys blog a few years back where he blocked people from his site who were using adblockers. Yes, people have a right to use ads on their own sites to help pay for server costs but we also have a right to block them.

If you are as concerned about privacy as I, and it seems you are...check out Do Not Track.

It blocks various entities that track you (for advertising purposes and other):

http://www.abine.com/dntdetail.php/

pennysworth
Jul 10, 2012, 07:23 PM
That's nice but another pittance in fines. Does the fine match the profit from the illegality?

But what I really want--what I need to know is: Who is going to jail?

I want someone, somewhere, who breaks a big, big law to go to jail. Someone in Silicon Valley, or Wall Street, or Washington.

Technarchy
Jul 10, 2012, 07:32 PM
I use Safari now, and limit my exposure to Google services when possible.

If you want to hurt Google, use their services less.

Google is evil. This was not always the case.

Gasu E.
Jul 10, 2012, 07:52 PM
Do no evil.

Actually, "Don't be evil."

----------

That's a terrible analogy. Not even remotely close. Terribly overreacted.

It's a perfect analogy.

It's Apple's responsibility to make the browser as exploit-proof as possible.

That doesn't let Google off the hook by any means. Apple made an error, but Google was intentionally malicious. As someone else said, finding a house key does not give you the right to break in.

mentaluproar
Jul 10, 2012, 08:52 PM
I want to know exactly who at google made the decision to exploit this rather than report it.

Rocketman
Jul 10, 2012, 09:32 PM
^^^This.http://www.forbes.com/2002/10/24/cx_aw_1024fine.html

http://ftc.gov/opp/gpra/2012_performance_plan.pdf
Measure 2.2.5: Take action against anticompetitive conduct in markets with a total of at least $40 billion in annual sales over five-year period; $8 billion each year.
2006 $1.4 billion
2007 $2.6 billion
2008 $0.4 billion
2009 $14.6 billion (231% increase in 09 of combined 2006-8 fines)

http://law.justia.com/constitution/us/amendment-08/02-excessive-fines.html

"therefore, while leaving open the issues of whether the Clause has any applicability to civil penalties or to qui tam actions, the Court determined that "the Excessive Fines Clause was intended to limit only those fines directly imposed by, and payable to, the government." The Court has held, however, that the excessive fines clause can be applied in civil forfeiture cases."

NewAnger
Jul 11, 2012, 02:03 AM
If you are as concerned about privacy as I, and it seems you are...check out Do Not Track.

It blocks various entities that track you (for advertising purposes and other):

http://www.abine.com/dntdetail.php/

I'll do that, thanks!

ugahairydawgs
Jul 11, 2012, 07:21 AM
It seems like a lot of money to you, but for google it's equal to about 23 cents. What's important here is not the money, but the fact that they've been exposed. Getting bad PR is more powerful than a fine. They will stop these practices to keep a good image. This goes for all Tech and other companies, including Apple. We need this kind of thing happening in government. That's were the really shady stuff goes on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svGDZOW-brA&feature=youtu.be

That's what everyone thought too after they got caught with their hand in the cookie jar tracking users through their street view cars.

Mad-B-One
Jul 11, 2012, 12:26 PM
One, I rather not have ad at all.

Two, showing ads is just a very small part of what they can do with generic data. They can use your behaviors for ao much more if they want to. Who to say that they're not doing it now. Remember the day where psychologists have to ask you to fill out surveys just to do their research? Those questionnaires were pretty generic too.

Well, but be aware that this is a little bit different. There were days when researches did not have to ask you to participate and explain why they do the research and what the risks and benefits are. Now, researchers have to go through Initial Review Boards to show that a) their research is benefitial to society, b) that benefit outweighs the risk to the individual participants, and so on. This is true for public research at least. As Psychologist or other professional, you are bound by your licensing boards to go through an IRB review.
On the corporate level though, it's more like data being gold to grab. That's why they call that data mining. Sure, it was mentioned that insurances would like to have a piece of that - and believe me, they won't even tell you why you cannot get health insurance with them. It won't stop there in the United States: You car insurer will up the rates if you had a heart attack because people wished you to get better on Facebook? Sounds impossible? Well, did you participate in the "Like" campaign of your insurance on an iPad sweepstake? Did you read what access they have now? What if the rules change? It is just rediculous that there is no outcry here. The internet is still the Wild West.

ThisIsNotMe
Jul 11, 2012, 12:27 PM
Yawn.
Pocket change fine that will do nothing to stop similar practices in the future.

If the government was serious about protecting the consumer the fine would be $2.2 billion not $22 million.

MacDav
Jul 11, 2012, 04:12 PM
That's what everyone thought too after they got caught with their hand in the cookie jar tracking users through their street view cars.

Slow learners may need a little extra incentive. Raising the fine to Billions instead of Millions, would definitely grab their attention. Realistically we know this will never happen though. So each consumer needs to do their homework and buy products they feel morally comfortable with. We know this will never happen either. So what's your plan again?

ugahairydawgs
Jul 11, 2012, 04:28 PM
Slow learners may need a little extra incentive. Raising the fine to Billions instead of Millions, would definitely grab their attention. Realistically we know this will never happen though. So each consumer needs to do their homework and buy products they feel morally comfortable with. We know this will never happen either. So what's your plan again?

I can only go as far as doing my part. So far I have done the following:

Use iCloud for my email and calendars
Use Dropbox and Skydrive for docs
Use Safari on my Macs at home
Use Firefox on my work PC
Use Yahoo for my homepage
Use Bing in my browser search bar
Use an iPhone with the default search set to Bing

Only thing I still use Google for is the e-mail address I have at work. Looking into solutions there to get us off of Google Apps, but it has to make sense for the company to do so. "I don't like Google" won't be a good enough reason.

Shame too....Jelly Bean looks like it has some potential.

kdarling
Jul 11, 2012, 04:35 PM
That's what everyone thought too after they got caught with their hand in the cookie jar tracking users through their street view cars.

That's pretty over-dramatic. They were not "tracking users".

At most, the car was catching a couple of seconds of data as it passed by a hotspot... and that hotspot had to be unprotected (which meant ANYONE could listen in) AND it had to be in use at the time, AND whatever bits of data flying around during those few seconds would be mostly worthless anyway.

ever since google got busted driving around europe stealing wifi data, then saying "oh we didnt know we were doing that, its a bug" i stopped trusting them..

According to the reports I've read, Google hired a former well known Silicon Valley wardriver to work on the original code. He used a library he'd already written, which included code to capture open data. After he left, no one took the time to read through his library source and find the leftover code.

That's not evil. That's just programmers who don't have the time (or incentive) to go back and vet someone else's code.

It happens all the time. Heck, look at Apple. They actually DID vet an app and let it into their supposedly locked up App Store, and yet they had ZERO IDEA that it had a hotspot secretly built into it.

rendevouspoo
Jul 11, 2012, 04:36 PM
Shame too....Jelly Bean looks like it has some potential.

I wouldn't call it just potential. They've left everyone in the dust with it.

ugahairydawgs
Jul 11, 2012, 04:50 PM
According to the reports I've read, Google hired a former well known Silicon Valley wardriver to work on the original code. He used a library he'd already written, which included code to capture open data. After he left, no one took the time to read through his library source and find the leftover code.

That's not evil. That's just programmers who don't have the time (or incentive) to go back and vet someone else's code.

It happens all the time. Heck, look at Apple. They actually DID vet an app and let it into their supposedly locked up App Store, and yet they had ZERO IDEA that it had a hotspot secretly built into it.

That would be a nice, logical explanation if you weren't able to compound it by pointing the article that started this thread. Google was using security flaws in a web browser to track users when they had explicitly marked that they did not want their user data tracked. Take those two events and add them together with the fact that Google makes their money on the data they collect and it all just comes together to form a shady set of circumstances.

I'm not going to shut the door on Google forever, but they have some work to do in order to win back the trust of at least this one user.

----------

I wouldn't call it just potential. They've left everyone in the dust with it.

That's another argument for another thread, but I'm personally not convinced of that. It's way better than previous versions of Android, but I'm not entirely sure that puts it light years ahead of the rest like some would have you believe.

Oletros
Jul 11, 2012, 05:00 PM
That's what everyone thought too after they got caught with their hand in the cookie jar tracking users through their street view cars.

No, they didn't track any user through their street view cars.

Someone can dislike a company and still not make false claims against them

kdarling
Jul 11, 2012, 05:09 PM
That would be a nice, logical explanation if you weren't able to compound it by pointing the article that started this thread.

I wasn't responding to the article that started this thread. I was responding to the insupportable idea that their street car could be "tracking users" in any way, shape or form. It just wasn't set up to be able to do anything like that.

That's in contrast to the thread topic, where someone obviously did make a purposeful decision to work around user choices.

These are two different situations, although both are almost certainly due to a small group of people, rather than to any covert upper management decisions.

Bsang
Jul 12, 2012, 02:40 PM
FWIW, gave up on Google search engine a few months ago out of frustration -- kept getting junk results no matter the varied query terms, too many commercial sites, too many shopping "suggestions" related to past purchases/searches in spite of conservative privacy settings. (The calendar and gmail are not user friendly, either, imo.)
Did a (challenging) search for recommended search engine alternative, found duckduckgo.com. Clean interface. Fast, straight-to-the-target results list. Options to make it default on Safari (all devices) & other browsers, can customize, including removing ALL tracking. So far, a maps-search means choosing an alt-browser, but it's painless. I also use AdBlock, ClickToFlash, and WOT extensions and they've prevented some nasty clickfalls.
Re. Vimeo not having large "enough" audience: Seems like youth use it a lot, and if enough of us bail on YouTube and move to Vimeo or some other (hopefully) less invasive host...
Am also hoping for a trustworthy FaceBook alternative, sooner than later. "Closed" a LinkedIn account ("deleting" each piece of personal info first, in hopes of blocking future use of the info) after seeing FB friends with no business/school association pop up as suggested contacts. DDG (rather than google) it: there's a lot of unsettling alleged privacy violation going on in both camps.
Worries me that so many young people say, "so what?" attitude. Elders grew up with more rights-to-privacy and jr./high school required reading like 1984. Many take the long view that the direction we're herded [*not a typo*] can't be good.
The Big Brother irony is not lost on me, but government "greed" accusations? Hey, if they can quash unethical business practices AND keep my personal info out of as many wrong hands as possible AND get compensated for fulfilling duties AND without raising the ire of Tea Partiers... more power to them.

Rodimus Prime
Jul 12, 2012, 02:58 PM
I noticed that virtually every federal agency has been announcing record fines of one sort or another. They must need the money. The fines are always long post facto for behavior that changed a few days after the letter was sent. The "victims" never get any compensation. This is a pure federal money grab.

Rocketman

I also see it as the fed is finally doing its job and not letting company just break the law freely. It means slapping companies wil some real fines that are far in excess of the profit made off breaking some law.

I know many company will knownly break the law and take fines because they make more profit doing that method that the fines take out.

Rocketman
Jul 12, 2012, 04:41 PM
I also see it as the fed is finally doing its job and not letting company just break the law freely. It means slapping companies wil some real fines that are far in excess of the profit made off breaking some law.

I know many company will knowingly break the law and take fines because they make more profit doing that method that the fines take out.Maybe, but enforcement of regulations is entirely arbitrary. They could accomplish 5x the results by sending letters clearly stating where the bright lines of tolerance are. But what they do instead is make the regulations vague and incomprehensible, get a hair up, and do some selective enforcement, using "novel theories", rarely used methods, or good old fashioned "audible" calls, BY SURPRISE.

I see it all the time in the chemical, trucking, pollution, and hazmat worlds. This is the same thing.

This is not being done for some high purpose. It is to generate media that they are "doing something" targeted at their political base. That's why the particular enforcements they select to do are consistent with their political messaging.

It is not random coincidence. It is exercise of power.

Rocketman

\-V-/
Aug 7, 2012, 10:48 PM
putting online and surfing the web are totally different things. You should be able to surf around and not have Google tracking you.

Oh, I agree. What's even better is Google is now working on their own internet. Wee! https://fiber.google.com/about/