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  • Google Pays Largest Fine in FTC History for Circumventing Safari Privacy Settings


    Google agreed to pay the largest fine ever levied by the Federal Trade Commission today for violating security settings that prevent advertisers from tracking users with cookies in Appleís Safari browser.

    The $22.5 million fine is the largest the FTC has ever issued, but the agreement is typical of white-collar crimes as Google agreed to only pay the fine if the company could deny ďthe substantive allegations in the Commission's civil penalty complaint.Ē So Google paid a fine for breaking the law, but they donít have to admit to any wrongdoing. Makes sense.

    At least one commissioner J. Thomas Rosch voted against the order arguing the settlement with Google allowed the company to deny the allegations made by the FTC. However, Rosch was outvoted 4-1 by his fellow commissioners.

    Originally Posted by :
    "We strongly disagree with Commissioner Roschís view that if the Commission allows a defendant to deny the complaintís substantive allegations, the settlement is not in the public interest...

    Here, as in all cases, a defendantís denial of liability in a settlement agreement has no bearing on the Commissionís determination as to whether it has reason to believe the defendant has violated the law or that a proposed settlement will afford appropriate relief for the Commissionís charges." ó majority decision
    Googleís bypassing of Safariís security settings to track users violated a previous agreement between the FTC and Google addressing the privacy of users. Google, like many large corporations, have a habit of dancing around laws and regulations paying up only when they get caught. Googleís wrongdoing wasnít so much that they were collecting the data, but that they lied to consumers about how they were collecting the information by telling users they didnít need to opt out.

    Compared to the $500 million the federal government fined Google for allowing a Canadian pharmacy to illegally advertise drugs in the United States the FTC fine is a pittance. Donít expect Google to change, and expect the FTC to utilize the option in the agreement that lets FTC levy more fines against Google if they donít straighten up.

    Source: AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Google Pays Largest Fine in FTC History for Circumventing Safari Privacy Settings started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. H4CK3R's Avatar
      H4CK3R -
      $22.5 million is nothing to Google or any of those big companies, it's just bad publicity for them.
    1. Cheesey123's Avatar
      Cheesey123 -
      So google gets find 22.5 million but the end user that was the one being lied to and deceived gets nothing,id like to know what and where the 22.5 million is going to end up.
    1. Atom2215's Avatar
      Atom2215 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cheesey123 View Post
      So google gets find 22.5 million but the end user that was the one being lied to and deceived gets nothing,id like to know what and where the 22.5 million is going to end up.
      Boom
    1. iLoveWindows&iPhone's Avatar
      iLoveWindows&iPhone -
      I'm SOOO proud of my country right now.....(sarcasm).

      I don't know what's worse....Google blatantly breaking the law, and then paying off the judges (government) to get away with it and basically having their crimes erased from their record...

      Or....The very fact that our government/legal system has a system in place that allows companies to LEGALLY do this. The judges make these fancy statements, and use all this courtroom lingo to hide it...But in reality, this is no different then a celebrity or drug lord paying off the cops under the table to get away with whatever they choose.

      And someone PLEASE tell me how on Earth this is "in the publics best interest". I don't care if it was 2 billion dollars...it still wouldn't make a impact in any one of our lives.

      What does make a impact however, is the fact that our government openly accepts bribes to hide companies crimes. And on top of that, they try and justify it.

      What about right and wrong? What about holding people (AND companies) to their word, and making them fulfill their promises? What about punishing companies that regularly abuse the law and break their promises, and holding them accountable for their actions?

      All of the things I just mentioned are a billion times more important then what equates (in this situation) to a measly amount of money.

      "What's in the people's best interest" would be standing up to this corrupt system, and in doing so, sending a message to the people of this nation that no one is above the law, you can't buy your innocence, and that doing what's right is worth more than making a few bucks....

      I think it's pretty safe to say they did not send that message, exactly the opposite actually.
    1. Mrteacup's Avatar
      Mrteacup -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cheesey123 View Post
      So google gets find 22.5 million but the end user that was the one being lied to and deceived gets nothing,id like to know what and where the 22.5 million is going to end up.
      To the greedy bastards that say they sue for us the consumers but in the end just keep the money
    1. Micturition's Avatar
      Micturition -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cheesey123 View Post
      So google gets find 22.5 million but the end user that was the one being lied to and deceived gets nothing,id like to know what and where the 22.5 million is going to end up.
      Typical, you want a piece of something you feel entitled to. Well guess what, you have no right to anything because that money is going to be used to pay judges and policemen just like your tax dollars. So in other words you do get a piece of this pie (government services), just not what you expected. Scavenger.

      And I for one think its probably just a little over how much they made by giving advertising companies location data. They probably made $15 mil. and the additional to punish.
    1. Cheesey123's Avatar
      Cheesey123 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Micturition View Post
      Typical, you want a piece of something you feel entitled to. Well guess what, you have no right to anything because that money is going to be used to pay judges and policemen just like your tax dollars. So in other words you do get a piece of this pie (government services), just not what you expected. Scavenger.

      And I for one think its probably just a little over how much they made by giving advertising companies location data. They probably made $15 mil. and the additional to punish.
      You are assuming i live in the USA which i do not,so to think that i in you words " want a piece of the pie" is again an assumption,so you sir are a brain fail and should try to think before you write..

      What i was referring to was google got a fine for wrong doing but doesnt admit or apologise to the user and its a valid question where does the money really go..
    1. bigboyz's Avatar
      bigboyz -
      That's a years salary for some star athletes but mere pocket change when your worth billions. Oh by the way "our government" is a business. They are in business to make money. We are just pawns that have to live by it or we our outcasts...is what it is. Rich get rich and the poor usually die that way. Look at some of these companies and look at what the CEO's, CFO's and Execs make..its money that is not even qualified. You made us some money so we dump a few hundred million in your bank account. Meanwhile people are still starving on this planet..big picture is that greed is still here and always will be..sad really.
    1. Scotty Manley Silberhorn's Avatar
      Scotty Manley Silberhorn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cheesey123 View Post
      So google gets find 22.5 million but the end user that was the one being lied to and deceived gets nothing,id like to know what and where the 22.5 million is going to end up.
      You donít own safari, Apple does. Itís your choice on which browser to choose. Since theyíre free, you shouldnít get anything. If you worried about protecting information on the internet, donít use the internet.
    1. Cheesey123's Avatar
      Cheesey123 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Scotty Manley Silberhorn View Post
      You donít own safari, Apple does. Itís your choice on which browser to choose. Since theyíre free, you shouldnít get anything. If you worried about protecting information on the internet, donít use the internet.
      [QUOTE=Phillip Swanson;6644732]

      Googleís bypassing of Safariís security settings to track users violated a previous agreement between the FTC and Google addressing the privacy of users.

      You should read the whole article before commenting!!
    1. hank197857's Avatar
      hank197857 -
      well, my iphone is back on safari - no longer on chrome - but my macbook pro is still on chrome. i wonder what the tracking ramifications are. anyone?