Monday, August 13, 2012

Google fined for hijacking Safari

GOOGLE is paying a record $US22.5 million ($21.4 million) fine to settle allegations that it broke a privacy promise by secretly tracking millions of web surfers who use Apple's Safari browser.

The penalty announced by the US Federal Trade Commission matches the figure media reported last month.

It's the largest fine the FTC has imposed against a company for violating a previous agreement with the agency.
Google isn't admitting any wrongdoing in the latest settlement.
The fine isn't over Google's data collection, but for misrepresenting what was happening.
Last October, Google had signed a 20-year agreement that, among other things, included a company pledge not to mislead consumers about its privacy practices.
The FTC opened its investigation into the Safari activities six months ago after a researcher at Stanford University revealed Google had overridden Safari safeguards that are supposed to prevent outside parties from monitoring web surfing activity without a user's permission.
The tracking occurs through snippets of computer coding, known as cookies, that help internet services and advertisers target marketing pitches based on an analysis of the interests implied by a person's web surfing activity.
Google immediately withdrew its intrusive technology from Safari after the manipulation was reported.
But the circumvention of Apple's built-in settings appeared to contradict a statement in Google's online help centre assuring Safari users they didn't need to do anything more to ensure their online activities wouldn't be logged by Google.
The apparent contradiction between Google's words and actions became the focal point of the FTC investigation.
Google's fine surpasses a nearly $US19 million penalty that the FTC slapped on a telemarketer accused of duping people into believing they were donating to charities.  10 Aug 2012

Google together with other global data collection giants, like Apple, HP, IBM and others will go on collecting data not only about their users, but also about all connected users.

This is a policy that will not be stopped under any circumstances, as this information is used for government purposes therefore supported by governments.

No comments: