Google pays record $22.5m to settle Apple privacy case
Google will pay $22.5 million to settle charges that it bypassed the privacy settings of customers using Apple Inc’s Safari browser, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said.
The announcement confirms last month’s reports of the amount of the settlement.
The deal ends an FTC probe into allegations that Google used computer code known as “cookies” to trick Apple’s Safari browser on iPhones and iPads, so that Google could monitor users who had blocked such tracking.
The practice was in violation of a 2011 consent decree that Google negotiated with the FTC over its botched rollout of the now defunct social network Buzz.
“The record setting penalty in this matter sends a clear message to all companies under an FTC privacy order,” said Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the FTC. “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.”
However, the settlement is small compared to the $2.79bn profit Google posted last quarter.