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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.
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.

Top Rated Comments

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30 months ago
Google deserves the fine. Make it a good one.
Rating: 45 Votes
30 months ago
Don't be evil!


...or pay the price.
Rating: 35 Votes
30 months ago
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:
Rating: 29 Votes
30 months ago
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.
Rating: 18 Votes
30 months ago

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.
Rating: 17 Votes
30 months ago
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.
Rating: 17 Votes
30 months ago
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.
Rating: 17 Votes
30 months ago
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.
Rating: 16 Votes
30 months ago
there is always a price for free...
Rating: 13 Votes
30 months ago
Another chump change fine. A cost of doing business for Google, and not a significant cost at that.
Rating: 13 Votes

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