Tags: Google | Apple | Browser | Breach

Google Agrees to Pay $22.5 Million for Apple Browser Breach

Thursday, 09 Aug 2012 11:53 AM

Google Inc. agreed to pay a record $22.5 million to settle allegations by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that it breached Apple Inc.’s Safari Internet browser.

The fine, the largest ever the FTC has levied against a company, represents the first by the agency for a violation of Internet privacy as the agency steps up enforcement of consumers’ online rights.

The FTC alleged that Mountain View, California-based Google deceived consumers and violated terms of a consent decree signed with the commission last year when it planted so-called cookies on Safari, bypassing Apple software’s privacy settings, to track users’ Internet browsing behavior.

“The record setting penalty in this matter sends a clear message to all companies under an FTC privacy order,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “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 has drawn regulatory scrutiny and pressure from consumer advocates for the way it handles personal information. The operator of the world’s largest search engine signed a consent decree with the FTC last year to settle allegations that it used deceptive tactics and violated its own privacy policies in introducing the Buzz social-networking service in 2010.

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Thursday, 09 Aug 2012 11:53 AM
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