FTC to fine Google $22.5M over Safari privacy, says report

Federal Trade Commission fine would settle charges related to Google bypassing the privacy settings of customers who were using the Safari browser.

Code lets Google bypass user privacy settings

Another privacy embarrassment for Google?

Reuters is reporting that the Federal Trade Commission intends to fine Google $22.5 million in civil penalties to settle charges that the company bypassed the privacy settings of Safari browser users.

The settlement will allow Google to avoid admitting liability, according to an unidentified source who spoke with Reuters.

Earlier this year, Google was accused of bypassing the privacy settings of people using Apple's Safari browser. At the time, Google downplayed the charge as a mischaracterization. As with the Street View embarrassment, Google said the Safari episode was inadvertent and that no personal information had been collected, according to Reuters.

As it pushes into new realms, Google has had to try to negotiate unfamiliar privacy territory. Recently, U.K. regulators said they would reopen a probe into Google Street View after finding out about contradictions between what it was told by Google and what Google told U.S. investigators about its data-collection policy. (In 2010, Google acknowledged that it had inadvertently been gathering e-mail and text messages; passwords; Internet usage history; and other data from unsecured wireless networks.)
 

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