Google Facing Tens of Millions of Dollars in Fines over Safari Privacy Circumvention

Bloomberg briefly reports that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is preparing to fine Google over its efforts to circumvent privacy restrictions in Safari for iOS to track users through ads on numerous sites across the web. According to a source, the fine is likely to amount to tens of millions of dollars.

Google Inc. (GOOG) is negotiating with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over how big a fine it will have to pay for its breach of Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s Safari Internet browser, a person familiar with the matter said. […] 

The fine would be the first by the FTC for a violation of Internet privacy safeguards as the agency steps up enforcement of the Web.


Google took advantage of a loophole in Safari’s default privacy settings, making the browser think that the user was interacting with a given ad, thus allowing a tracking cookie to be installed. With that cookie installed, it became easy for Google to add additional cookies and to track users across the web as they visited other sites displaying ads from Google’s networks.

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