FTC Slaps Google With Record $22.5M Fine
On August 10th 2012, the FTC slapped the most famous website in the world Google, with a whopping $22.5 million dollar fine. The FTC came to find out that Google had been following the users of Apple’s version of a web browser known as Safari.
After even more in depth research and findings, the FTC found that Google had been using tracking cookies to collect info on consumers and users of Apple’s Safari, and spy on their surfing habits. They felt that they could learn more about Apple’s users and what they were searching for and purchasing via the search engine, so they could redesign their advertisements to fit what consumers were actually doing.
Largest FTC Fine Ever for Violating Privacy Agreement
This is to date the largest FTC penalty against a company for violating a privacy agreement. This large fine seems like a lot for a company, although Google earned over $12 billion dollars through advertising in the last quarter alone. With those earnings, Google will have earned back the whopping $22.5 million in under 5 hours.
The Federal Trade Commission states that Google breached a consent decree reached last year over its Buzz social effort. There has been an ongoing investigation into Google for these breaches of privacy now known to be used against Apple. Google is now under review by the FTC for the next 20 years.
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- Google pays US states $17m to settle Apple web browser tracking complaint (theguardian.com)
- Google To Pay $17 Million Fine For Secretly Following You Online (huffingtonpost.com)
- The FTC has teeth: Google agrees to pay $22.5M fine over Safari violations (venturebeat.com)
- Google to pay $17M in Safari-snooping settlement (newsday.com)