Google faces $22 million fine over Safari cookie debacle

By on July 10, 2012, 10:30 AM

Google is close to reaching a settlement deal with the FTC over concerns raised back in February that the search giant was actively circumventing the privacy settings of desktop and iOS Safari users. Back then an investigation by the Wall Street Journal revealed that even though Safari’s default setting blocks cookies from third parties, Google found a workaround to install a tracking cookie on users' iPhones, iPads and PCs without consent.

Google maintained that it was using known functionality in Safari to provide features for users signed-in to one of its services, like the ability to use the "+1" button and get personalized ads. They also stressed that the advertising cookies generated did not collect users' personal information.

Their explanation failed to appease regulators, though, and now Google must pony up $22.5 million to put the matter behind. What seems to have played against their favor is the fact that as of February 2012, in its own online privacy guide, Google misrepresented to Safari users that they did not need to do anything to opt out of its advertising cookies because “Safari is set by default to block all third-party cookies.”

The company has since removed that wording from its site.

The Wall Street Journal noted that the anticipated $22.5 million fine will be the largest ever imposed by the commission on a single company. But while that might sound like a decent sum of cash, the paper also estimates that last year Google raked in that much in revenue every 5 hours.




User Comments: 11

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Guest said:

. But while th might sound like a decent sum of cash, the paper also calculates that last year the search giant made that much in revenue every 5 hours.

^^^^

thats disgusting O_O

Guest said:

To the other guest... disgusting in what way? I would highly doubt anyone in this world would actually care they make that much and if you made that much I highly doubt you would say its disgusting lol

Guest said:

As long as companies are fined a million for every illegally gained billion these practices will never stop.

Guest said:

Running a business is a way to illegally gain billions? how did you work that one out lol!

Camikazi said:

To the other guest... disgusting in what way? I would highly doubt anyone in this world would actually care they make that much and if you made that much I highly doubt you would say its disgusting lol

I think they mean disgusting as in an insane amount of money to make every 5 hours.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

LOL! How much is Google worth? 200 billion? Reminds me of the vaccine companies. They make billions selling a vaccine that kills 1 in 1000 and they get a tiny little fine.

MilwaukeeMike said:

@ Spyder, it is easier to make up your own facts rather than use real ones isn't it. I'd like to know which vaccine kills .1% of everyone who takes it. How can you even compare an advertising browser cookie to a vaccine that kills you?! I can't even get my head around that.

Does anyone really use the internet with cookies turned off? And to all you anti-business folks out there... why are you happy if Google gets fined? Do you think you're going to see part of money?

The more money google makes, the more cool free stuff they give us. You know they have a self-driving car with 250,000 miles on it?

1 person liked this | MilwaukeeMike said:

. But while th might sound like a decent sum of cash, the paper also calculates that last year the search giant made that much in revenue every 5 hours.

^^^^

thats disgusting O_O

Ha, that's peanuts. Our fed govt pays more than that per hour in interest on the debt.

Jay Pfoutz Jay Pfoutz, Malware Helper, said:

Haha nice! I like the cookie photo!

Guest said:

Google- "Oh noooo thats quite a hefty fine!.... Will cash be ok?"

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

@ Spyder, it is easier to make up your own facts rather than use real ones isn't it. I'd like to know which vaccine kills .1% of everyone who takes it.

Merck caused polio instead of prevented it. And KNEW about it, but they're immune. Link

Bill Gates Oral Polio Vaccine Cripples 47,500 Children. Link

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