Cookiegate: Google settles with FTC for $22.5 million over Safari privacy violation

Google has been ordered by the FTC to pay $22.5 million for violation of a previous agreement that the company would not “misrepresent the extent to which consumers can exercise control over the collection of their information.” In 2011 and part of 2012, Google was found to have placed advertising tracking cookies on phones and tablets of individuals using the Safari mobile browser, despite telling customers that the default settings in the Safari browser would effectively opt them out of the service by default.

According to the FTC, Google exploited a hole in the browser’s default setting, which placed a temporary cookie from the DoubleClick domain on Safari user’s computers. This opened the door for more DoubleClick cookies to also be stored, including the one Google promised would not be used. The exploit has since been patched, but the violation of the previous FTC agreement from October 2011 was enough to have the FTC levy their richest settlement to date, though it still largely amounts to chump change for the search giant.

[via Engadget, FTC; Image from]

  • iPhone Guy

    So what your reporting is, Google effectively paid the FTC for the data it collected on millions of mobile safari (wait lets call a spade a spade – iPhones) clients.  Oh I feel so much better now.  End of the story is my every move was tracked.

    • Anthony Domanico

      for ad-serving purposes. shitty nonetheless

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