Security Advisor

Google Busted for Safari Privacy Workaround

Google's not having the best week when it comes to getting away with things it shouldn't be doing. Earlier in the week it was fined for privacy violations concerning how it accesses Wi-Fi networks without permission for its Google Street. Now it may be facing a hefty fine for circumnavigating privacy settings in Apple's Safari browser to track user's Internet movements.

If found to be at fault by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, a $16,000 fine per violation (which could be counted for each Safari user) per day could be issued. If my math is correct, that comes out to about a kajillion dollars Google may owe.

When the alleged breach first came out, Google said that its "accidental" tracking of cookies for Safari users was due to some bad code associated with its widely used (sarcasm) "+1" social media button that clutters up your favorite Web sites.

The company is now changing its story, saying this week that it tracked cookies only of those Google users that specifically requested it. Who would request that?

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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