Google settles over unauthorized tracking in Apple's Safari browser

Google settles over unauthorized tracking in Apple's Safari browser
Google has settled today with 37 states (and D.C.) over allegations that it had used unauthorized cookies in Apple's Safari browser to collect data on millions of users from 2011 to 2012.

The search giant had been using a loophole that enabled their DoubleClick advertising network "to shadow unwitting Safari users, even though Apple prohibited the tracking without obtaining a person's permission." By following the Safari browsing habits, DoubleClick was able to target ads.

Last year, the FTC fined Google $22.5 million for the same violation, and Google has settled with the States for $17 million. The violations took place between June 2011 and February 2012.

Google, for their part, has said the "snooping" was an inadvertent side effect in their ongoing efforts to target ads better.

"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," the company added. "We're pleased to have worked with the state attorneys general to reach this agreement."

The settlement will be split between the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Washington D.C.

Written by: Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Nov 2013 0:25
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  • Bozobub

    And once again, a huge corporation receives a fine for bad behavior that represents a tiny fraction of the amount gained with that behavior.

    19.11.2013 09:24 #1

  • bhetrick


    Plus, just where exactly does that fine, if ever really paid, go? Do those affected by it ever see a red cent? Nope, not one penny.

    It'll just end up in the pockets of the bureaucrats because, you know, times are tough and they can't make those huge yacht payments on their meager earnings.

    19.11.2013 10:04 #2

  • Mysttic

    Meanwhile Google is eternally grateful to Canada for the continuous allowance to snoop over her country citizens without so much of a, "Please stop"

    19.11.2013 12:22 #3

  • hearme0

    So Apple "prohibits" tracking but doesn't put in place concrete measures to avoid the practice????

    WTF is that?

    Of course there will be an exploit as simply 'telling' someone to not do something will be reciprocated all too often with a big F YOU!

    Since Apple dropped the ball on the lack of security in the defunct and crappy assed Safari browser, I don't think Google should have payed a dime. Shoulda gone and told the US gov't to F OFF!

    19.11.2013 15:20 #4

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