Google Facing Tens of Millions of Dollars in Fines over Safari Privacy Circumvention

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 4, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    #1
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    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 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
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    iAppl3Fan

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    #2
    Google deserves the fine. Make it a good one.
     
  3. macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #3
    With that big of a penalty I'm sure it'll be a deterrent to others who want to do the same thing. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    gorskiegangsta

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  5. macrumors 68040

    tigres

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  6. macrumors regular

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    #6
    I thought Google does no evil, and it's apples fault that they left this exploit open?
     
  7. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #7
    Another chump change fine. A cost of doing business for Google, and not a significant cost at that.
     
  8. macrumors demi-god

    Shrink

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    #8
    The illusion of any semblance of privacy is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain.:mad:

    I hope the fine is large enough to get Google's, and others, attention.
     
  9. macrumors member

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    #9
    Seriously, this is why I don't use most google apps. (Unfortunately youtube and google search I cannot find suitable alternatives for :( )

    I understand that they make money tracking people, but the fact that they will utilize exploits and security flaws to do so is really disconcerting.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    donga

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  11. macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    What is wrong is that the fine goes to the government instead of all of us who use Safari whose privacy was negotiated around. It's impractical, sure, but the damage was done to us not the government.
     
  12. Editor emeritus

    longofest

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    #12
    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.
     
  13. macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

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    #13
    This is the number 1 reason why I won't go back to Android. How can you possibly tell me that Google isn't interested in selling my information? Honestly, this is just flagrant.
     
  14. Rocketman, May 4, 2012
    Last edited: May 4, 2012

    macrumors 603

    Rocketman

    #14
    This smacks of retroactive enforcement. FTC should give Google a demand letter not a fine. Any fine collected should be paid to Apple as a down payment in civil damages, not absorbed by the government.

    What nwcs said. Net collected fines could be added to dividends.

    Rocketman
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Take a look at the Ghostery plugin.
     
  16. Editor emeritus

    longofest

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    #16
    Why paid to Apple? Apple wasn't hurt in this... the users were.
     
  17. macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

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    #17
    If you get robbed, you don't sue your landlord.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    bb426

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    #18
    Good. Tens of millions should be the very LEAST they should pay.
     
  19. Editor emeritus

    longofest

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    #19
    In general no, but you can if your landlord was negligent in providing adequate security.
     
  20. macrumors 68040

    tigres

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    #20
    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.
     
  21. macrumors member

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    #21
    They got the money

    Better be more than that to hurt them. They got the money and tens of millions won't hurt them at all.
     
  22. macrumors newbie

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    #22
    Imagine how awesome things would be today if Apple and Google were still on good terms. This constant fighting (in this case totally justified) is only holding both of them back.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    millertime021

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  24. macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

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    #24
    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.
     
  25. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    #25
    Google picked them by inserting code into their ads which fooled safari into thinking the user was submitting a form.

    Straight up exploitation of the browser. but no, it's apples fault :rolleyes:
     

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