Google will be paying $22.5 million as part of a settlement to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Google is paying the fine because of charges that it violated the privacy of users on the Apple Safari browser. This is the largest settlement in FTC history.
?The record setting penalty in this matter sends a clear message to all companies under an FTC privacy order. 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,? stated FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.
Google allegedly violated its privacy settlement with the FTC by placing tracking cookies in the Apple Safari web browser. The cookies were design to get around the default settings on the browser, which had disallowed behavior tracking. Google continued to track users despite telling them that they would be automatically opted out of the tracking. Going forward, Google will be required to disable tracking cookies.