Google to Pay $22.5 Million Settlement in Safari Privacy Circumvention Case

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
46,753
8,952



In line with last month's report on negotiations between Google and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over the company's circumvention of privacy settings in Safari, the FTC has officially announced that Google has agreed to pay a record $22.5 million penalty to settle the case.
The settlement is part of the FTC's ongoing efforts make sure companies live up to the privacy promises they make to consumers, and is the largest penalty the agency has ever obtained for a violation of a Commission order. In addition to the civil penalty, the order also requires Google to disable all the tracking cookies it had said it would not place on consumers' computers.

"The record setting penalty in this matter sends a clear message to all companies under an FTC privacy order," said Jon Leibowitz, Chairman of the FTC. "No matter how big or small, all companies must abide by FTC orders against them and keep their privacy promises to consumers, or they will end up paying many times what it would have cost to comply in the first place."
Google took advantage of a loophole in Safari's privacy settings designed to prevent placement of third-party cookies by default, using invisible web forms to trick Safari into thinking that users had interacted with Google's ads and thus allowing cookies to be placed on the device.

The FTC specifically charged Google with violating an October 2011 order related to a previous case of privacy violations. In the new Safari case, FTC commissioners voted 4-1 to approve the settlement, with the dissenting commissioner arguing against the settlement allowing Google to deny all liability related to the issue.

Article Link: Google to Pay $22.5 Million Settlement in Safari Privacy Circumvention Case
 

rjohnstone

macrumors 68040
Dec 28, 2007
3,494
3,469
PHX, AZ.
Pocket change.
According to WSJ calculations, Google generated that much in ad revenue every 5 hours last year.
 

ChazUK

macrumors 603
Feb 3, 2008
5,390
24
Essex (UK)
Stupid of them to do such a thing in the first place but the repercussions are also insignificantly small to a company like Google.

Has the loophole been closed by Apple in Safari yet or not or is it a difficult one to solve?
 

LagunaSol

macrumors 601
Apr 3, 2003
4,798
0
Why do people insist on seeing Google as the "Good Guys?"

Big Brother is here - and his name is Google. :eek:
 

mcarling

macrumors 65816
Oct 22, 2009
1,292
179
Thanks not even a slap on the wrist. It's more like the FTC blew Google a kiss on the wrist.

Do only evil. -- evident Google Motto
 

Tiger8

macrumors 68020
May 23, 2011
2,479
649
What happened to Google? It used to be a great innovative company, remember how they rocked the world with their search engine? Their Gmail? Their Docs? Google Voice?

Now they turned into this monster that steals everything from their own customers info to other people's software. Seriously Google, get your act together.
 

WilliamLondon

macrumors 68000
Dec 8, 2006
1,699
13
Why do people insist on seeing Google as the "Good Guys?"

Big Brother is here - and his name is Google. :eek:
Couldn't agree more!

And just how much do you think $22.5M will hurt Google? I wonder how much money Google made from this little violation?
 

camnchar

macrumors 6502
Jan 26, 2006
434
414
SLC, Utah
It is stuff like this that reminds me that the end-users are not Google's customers, the companies buying ads are. Concepts like privacy are just obstacles in between Google and cash.
 

matrix07

macrumors 603
Jun 24, 2010
5,152
1,686
Stupid of them to do such a thing in the first place but the repercussions are also insignificantly small to a company like Google.

Has the loophole been closed by Apple in Safari yet or not or is it a difficult one to solve?
They're not stupid. They're just desperate to get your datas any which way.

----------

Why do people insist on seeing Google as the "Good Guys?"

Big Brother is here - and his name is Google. :eek:
There're lots of posters here who will say Apple and Google is no different on privacy issue. I'm not kidding. They're that naive. They're unlikely to be here though.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,186
Well, there goes all the soda machine profits from their main campus, for today and tomorrow. All up in smoke! Take that!