Search engine giant Google has been fined $22.5 million for monitoring the web surfers using Apple’s Safari browser who had a ‘do not track’ privacy setting selected. Google has also agreed to pay the fine which has been imposed by the US Federal Trade Commission.
As a part of the settlement, Google does not have to admit the wrong doing. The penalty has been imposed for misrepresenting what it was doing and no for the methods it used to bypass Safari’s tracker cookie settings.
The Cookies are actually small text files which are installed in to the computer to allow it to be identified so that the web activity can be monitored. Jon Leibowitz the FTC chairman in a statement said, “No matter how big or small, all companies must abide by FTC orders against them and keep their privacy promises to consumers, or they will end up paying many times what it would have cost to comply in the first place”.
An Inquiry was launched by the government after a Stanford University researcher noticed the issues while studying targeted advertising. It was revealed that the search giant was exploiting a loophole which let its cookies be installed through adverts on the popular websites even if the user browsers’ preferences had been set to reject them.