Google to Pay $17 Million Settlement to States in Safari Privacy Circumvention Case

Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia have agreed to a $17 million settlement with Google over the company's circumvention of privacy settings in Safari, reports PCWorld. Google previously agreed to a $22.5 million settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to settle a similar case between the company and the federal government.

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.

"Consumers should be able to know whether there are other eyes surfing the web with them," [New York Attorney General Eric] Schneiderman said in a statement. "By tracking millions of people without their knowledge, Google violated not only their privacy, but also their trust."

Google said it was pleased to reach the settlement. "We work hard to get privacy right at Google and have taken steps to remove the ad cookies, which collected no personal information, from Apple's browsers," a spokeswoman said by email.

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin were all involved in the settlement.

Top Rated Comments

akm3 Avatar
94 months ago
Don't be evil.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jayse Avatar
94 months ago
Giant two-faced snake of a company. They'll never change while there is value in user data...
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yadmonkey Avatar
94 months ago

Don't be evil.


Do as we say, not as we do.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hoon2999 Avatar
94 months ago
what about NSA? do they get a fine too?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rshoff Avatar
94 months ago
Wow, 17million. What a punishment! Ya know, hackers get sent to jail for years when they breach a corporate server. Why does Google get off so easily for hacking millions of personal computers residing in people's homes with their security settings set for privacy?! Let me answer that, they shouldn't.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
clarsen Avatar
94 months ago
This is all well and good that the states settled, but I was the one that "suffered" so where is my money?:confused:
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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