Google has been lambasted for violating Safari’s privacy settings to install tracking cookies on user’s machines. This was done without the knowledge of explicit permission of the users and naturally, was tantamount to violation of privacy rights. The case was brought into limelight when one such user decided to sue Google.
Google was able to circumvent the privacy settings of Safari through a tiny code. The code made it appear as if the user was initiating a request to install the tracking cookie whereas in reality, this was done so through this tiny code.
With the help of the tracking cookie, Google was able to access the browsing habits of the users, something which is beneficial for targeted advertising. Google immediately responded by saying that the cookie didn’t collect any personal information, although the company immediately removed the code and no longer used it.
The bad news for Google is that it may be up for a hefty fine due to this. According to an ‘inside scoop’ which Bloomberg was able to receive from someone who is apparently familiar with the whole thing, US Federal Trade Commission plans to fine Google ‘tens of millions of dollars’ for violating the privacy rights of privacy rights.
The fine is so hefty also because of the fact that Google and FTC had been in negotiations earlier and reached certain agreements. But now, with this move, Google has violated part of the agreement.