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Old May 4, 2012, 02:12 PM   #1
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Google Facing Tens of Millions of Dollars in Fines over Safari Privacy Circumvention




Bloomberg briefly reports that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is preparing to fine Google over its efforts to circumvent privacy restrictions in Safari for iOS to track users through ads on numerous sites across the web. According to a source, the fine is likely to amount to tens of millions of dollars.
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Google Inc. (GOOG) is negotiating with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over how big a fine it will have to pay for its breach of Apple Inc. (AAPL)'s Safari Internet browser, a person familiar with the matter said. [...]

The fine would be the first by the FTC for a violation of Internet privacy safeguards as the agency steps up enforcement of the Web.



Google took advantage of a loophole in Safari's default privacy settings, making 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.

Article Link: Google Facing Tens of Millions of Dollars in Fines over Safari Privacy Circumvention
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Old May 4, 2012, 02:13 PM   #2
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Google deserves the fine. Make it a good one.
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Old May 4, 2012, 02:13 PM   #3
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With that big of a penalty I'm sure it'll be a deterrent to others who want to do the same thing.
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Old May 4, 2012, 02:14 PM   #4
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Old May 4, 2012, 02:15 PM   #5
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Old May 4, 2012, 02:16 PM   #6
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Another chump change fine. A cost of doing business for Google, and not a significant cost at that.
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Old May 4, 2012, 02:34 PM   #7
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Another chump change fine. A cost of doing business for Google, and not a significant cost at that.
Agreed. They need more than a slap on the wrist.
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Old May 4, 2012, 03:54 PM   #8
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Another chump change fine. A cost of doing business for Google, and not a significant cost at that.
Yep they spend 2+ million a month on corporate jet fuel.

This fine is pocket change.
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Old May 4, 2012, 02:18 PM   #9
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The illusion of any semblance of privacy is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain.

I hope the fine is large enough to get Google's, and others, attention.
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Old May 4, 2012, 02:21 PM   #10
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Go ahead and fine Google, but at what point do you say that Apple should be held accountable as well? I kind of see this as a lock manufacturer (Apple) making a sub-standard lock (Safari) and selling it to customers. An intruder (Google) breaks in to the customer's house by easily busting the sub-standard lock.

The sub-standard security doesn't make what Google did right, but at some point the customer should be looking at Apple and asking "WTF are you providing me here?"

I still think iOS is better overall than any other mobile OS around, but I'm not against holding Apple to the fire for being lax in security.
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Old May 4, 2012, 02:23 PM   #11
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Go ahead and fine Google, but at what point do you say that Apple should be held accountable as well?
If you get robbed, you don't sue your landlord.
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Old May 4, 2012, 02:24 PM   #12
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If you get robbed, you don't sue your landlord.
In general no, but you can if your landlord was negligent in providing adequate security.
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Old May 4, 2012, 02:28 PM   #13
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In general no, but you can if your landlord was negligent in providing adequate security.
That's a fair point. The question is whether Apple didn't put locks on the door or whether Google picked them. This report makes it look like the latter, but the former is definitely possible.
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Old May 4, 2012, 02:40 PM   #14
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In general no, but you can if your landlord was negligent in providing adequate security.
If a burglar finds an open door, it's still illegal for him to steal. Apple may have been negligent, but Google performed the illegal act, plain and simple.
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Old May 4, 2012, 02:43 PM   #15
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In general no, but you can if your landlord was negligent in providing adequate security.
It's your fault if you rented property without adequate protection, not your landloard's. This growing expaction that someone else should be responsible for your well-being is crazy.
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Old May 4, 2012, 03:27 PM   #16
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In general no, but you can if your landlord was negligent in providing adequate security.
But when you give your keys to someone you trust and that person gives copies out to everyone do you still blame the landlord?
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Old May 4, 2012, 02:25 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by longofest View Post
Go ahead and fine Google, but at what point do you say that Apple should be held accountable as well? I kind of see this as a lock manufacturer (Apple) making a sub-standard lock (Safari) and selling it to customers. An intruder (Google) breaks in to the customer's house by easily busting the sub-standard lock.

The sub-standard security doesn't make what Google did right, but at some point the customer should be looking at Apple and asking "WTF are you providing me here?"

I still think iOS is better overall than any other mobile OS around, but I'm not against holding Apple to the fire for being lax in security.
You make a very valid point, and one that has been discussed a lot recently without so much as a peep out of the apple camp.
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Old May 4, 2012, 02:34 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by longofest View Post
Go ahead and fine Google, but at what point do you say that Apple should be held accountable as well? I kind of see this as a lock manufacturer (Apple) making a sub-standard lock (Safari) and selling it to customers. An intruder (Google) breaks in to the customer's house by easily busting the sub-standard lock.

The sub-standard security doesn't make what Google did right, but at some point the customer should be looking at Apple and asking "WTF are you providing me here?"

I still think iOS is better overall than any other mobile OS around, but I'm not against holding Apple to the fire for being lax in security.
Ok, so if someone breaks into your house, and the police catch him, you're going to say "excuse me, Mr. Officer? I know he stole my TV but you really should lock me up too for not installing the best lock on my door. There are better ones and it's my fault for not buying one. Really, I deserve to be punished too."

I gotta say it: Really??
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Old May 4, 2012, 02:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longofest View Post
Go ahead and fine Google, but at what point do you say that Apple should be held accountable as well? I kind of see this as a lock manufacturer (Apple) making a sub-standard lock (Safari) and selling it to customers. An intruder (Google) breaks in to the customer's house by easily busting the sub-standard lock.

The sub-standard security doesn't make what Google did right, but at some point the customer should be looking at Apple and asking "WTF are you providing me here?"

I still think iOS is better overall than any other mobile OS around, but I'm not against holding Apple to the fire for being lax in security.
So what you're saying here is that if I don't put a substantial lock on my house I deserve to get broken into and robbed because I didn't do enough to thwart the crriminals? Good Grief!
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Old May 4, 2012, 03:02 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by longofest View Post
Go ahead and fine Google, but at what point do you say that Apple should be held accountable as well? I kind of see this as a lock manufacturer (Apple) making a sub-standard lock (Safari) and selling it to customers. An intruder (Google) breaks in to the customer's house by easily busting the sub-standard lock.

...but I'm not against holding Apple to the fire for being lax in security.
Software is not static and is never going to be perfect. There's always going to be things to fix and improve upon. To claim that Apple was lax in their security is oversimplifying the situation. I'm not defending Apple, but rather pointing out your uninformed viewpoint on this matter. Now, if Apple hadn't fixed the problem to this day, then you'd have an argument, but they fixed it, right?

Google intentionally exploited the hole. Apple didn't intentionally create the hole. See the difference here?
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Old May 5, 2012, 06:44 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longofest View Post
Go ahead and fine Google, but at what point do you say that Apple should be held accountable as well? I kind of see this as a lock manufacturer (Apple) making a sub-standard lock (Safari) and selling it to customers. An intruder (Google) breaks in to the customer's house by easily busting the sub-standard lock.

The sub-standard security doesn't make what Google did right, but at some point the customer should be looking at Apple and asking "WTF are you providing me here?"

I still think iOS is better overall than any other mobile OS around, but I'm not against holding Apple to the fire for being lax in security.
So it's YOUR fault when a thief / burglar circumvents your security measures and steals from you?
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Old May 5, 2012, 08:39 AM   #22
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So it's YOUR fault when a thief / burglar circumvents your security measures and steals from you?
Not a good analogy, since the user asked Google to save the cookies.
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Old May 5, 2012, 01:17 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longofest View Post
Go ahead and fine Google, but at what point do you say that Apple should be held accountable as well? I kind of see this as a lock manufacturer (Apple) making a sub-standard lock (Safari) and selling it to customers. An intruder (Google) breaks in to the customer's house by easily busting the sub-standard lock.

The sub-standard security doesn't make what Google did right, but at some point the customer should be looking at Apple and asking "WTF are you providing me here?"

I still think iOS is better overall than any other mobile OS around, but I'm not against holding Apple to the fire for being lax in security.
sort of like the landlord statement

If you own your house and you get robbed because someone kicks in your door, you may think maybe I should have had a steel door and frame instead of a wooden one, but I hardly think anyone would debate who should be held accountable for the robbery between you and the thieves who broke down your door

Google is obviously to blame here, Apple just thought wooden doors were good enough and have since installed steel ones
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Old May 5, 2012, 05:45 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by longofest View Post
Go ahead and fine Google, but at what point do you say that Apple should be held accountable as well? I kind of see this as a lock manufacturer (Apple) making a sub-standard lock (Safari) and selling it to customers. An intruder (Google) breaks in to the customer's house by easily busting the sub-standard lock.

The sub-standard security doesn't make what Google did right, but at some point the customer should be looking at Apple and asking "WTF are you providing me here?"

I still think iOS is better overall than any other mobile OS around, but I'm not against holding Apple to the fire for being lax in security.
Apple at some point should be held liable for not living up to their claims of security also. They sell this image that they're better than everyone else, that their products are of the highest security and when someone shows otherwise they play the wounded animal routine calling out "foul".

They (Apple) have yet to fix an issue in mobile Safari which allows a Javascript entry to spoof an entry into its mobile address bar. Sure Apple could blame Java but no other browser suffers from this problem.
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Old May 5, 2012, 06:01 PM   #25
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Google? Trampling our privacy? Say it ain't so!
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