Google Settles With FTC, Agrees To Pay $22.5M Penalty For Bypassing Safari Privacy Settings

Google settles for $22.5M with FTC on a hidden cookies/privacy case


Google today agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charge that it bypassed Safari’s privacy settings to serve targeted ads to consumers. Google placed these cookies on Safari users’ computers, despite the fact that, as the FTC notes, “Google had previously told these users they would automatically be opted out of such tracking, as a result of the default settings of the Safari browser used in Macs, iPhones and iPads.” This, according to the FTC, was in direct violation of the earlier privacy settlement between Google and the FTC.

The FTC’s charge focused on the fact that Google exploited a loophole in Safari to place cookies on its users’ computers even though Safari, by default, blocks cookies from third-party sites. As the WSJ reported earlier this year, Safari makes an exception for cookies from sites that users interacted with before by, for example…

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