Google has agreed to pay the largest penalty ever imposed on a single company to settle charges filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that it evaded the default privacy settings on Apple’s Safari browser. The $22.5 million is a drop in the bucket in comparison to $2.8 billion Google posted last quarter but unprecedented nonetheless. The charges stemmed from Google’s overriding of Safari browser settings. Safari automatically blocks files that follow user’s movements and logins that ad networks like Google rely heavily on to measure success and promote ads functions. When the FTC caught Google in the act, they disabled the override settings to become compliant.
How comfortable are you with a company tracking what you do online? Should the settlement have been more money considering how much Google makes?
Sara Forden, Bloomberg News legal reporter
Joseph Turow, associate dean for graduate studies at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, studies digital media and online privacy