Report: Google Negotiating with FTC over Apple Safari Privacy Breach

Type threatpost
Reporter Chris Brook
Modified 2013-04-17T16:32:17


Search giant Google is in negotiations with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over the size of a fine it will pay. This, after the company was found in breach of privacy controls in Apple’s Safari browser earlier this year.

According to an article from the Bloomberg news service, an unnamed individual involved with the proceedings acknowledged that Google could pay up to $10 million dollars in what could prove to be one of the first fines by the FTC on the topic of Internet privacy. According to the report, the FTC will find that Google “deceived consumers and violated terms of a consent decree signed with the commission.”

This isn’t the search giant’s first run-in with the FTC. The company signed a consent decree last year with the FTC following a settlement that alleged that its ill-fated Buzz product used deceptive practices. As part of the settlement, Google agreed to to privacy audits every two years for 20 years and to better adhere to policies that protect its users’ data in new products.

Speculation over the fine comes on the heels of research conducted by a Stanford grad student, Jonathan Mayer, who discovered Google was installing tracking cookies on Apple’s Safari browser earlier this year. While Google claimed the cookies didn’t collect any personal information, the company did remove the cookies soon after The Wall Street Journal reported about Mayer’s work in February.