Google appears to have settle a suit against the company for circumventing the mobile Safari browsers protections that do not allow third party apps to track users through the browser. Google will be paying $17 million dollars to 37 states along with the District of Columbia, a drop in the bucket to a company like Google.
Apple’s default settings ban sites which users have not visited from setting “cookies”, small text files with information about the user and site, on their machine. Cookies can act as unique identifiers of a user; if two unrelated sites used DoubleClick for advertising – as many do – and a Safari user went from one to the other, their movements could be tracked by Google.
Google admitted that it had carried out the hacking of the Safari browser in February 2012, but did not admit liability, the same position that it adopted with the FTC. This was important in that judgement because an admission of liability could have left Google subject to a much larger fine on the grounds that it breached a previous FTC consent order over user privacy. That was imposed in March 2011 over its “Buzz” social networkand will be in force for 20 years.
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Source: The Guardian