Most Read: Business

DJIA
2.43%
NASDAQ
2.24%
 Last Update: 4:29 PM 12/18/2014(NASDAQ&DJIA) |

World Markets from      

 

Other Market Data from      

 

Key Rates from      

 

Blog Contributors

Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee covers technology policy, including copyright and patent law, telecom regulation, privacy, and free speech. He also writes about the economics of technology. He has previously written for Ars Technica and Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter or send him email.

Brian Fung

Brian Fung

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on electronic privacy, national security, digital politics and the Internet that binds it all together. He was previously the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic. His writing has also appeared in Foreign Policy, Talking Points Memo, the American Prospect and Nonprofit Quarterly. Follow Brian on Google+ .

Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government. She also delves into the societal impacts of technology access and how innovation is intertwined with cultural development.

Post Tech
About / Where's Post I.T.?   |    Twitter  |   On Facebook  |  RSS RSS Feed  |  E-Mail Cecilia
Posted at 09:29 AM ET, 07/10/2012

Google to settle FTC charges over Safari, report says

Google is reportedly preparing to settle with the Federal Trade Commission over charges that it bypassed privacy settings in Apple’s Safari browser.

The company could pay $22.5 million to settle the charges, the Wall Street Journal reported. That would be the largest fine every levied by the regulatory agency — and is about the same as what Google made last year in five hours, the report said. Unnamed “officials briefed on the settlement terms” say a deal is close, the Journal reported, but may still be altered by commissioners before it is released.

Google had previously settled with the FTC over complaints about its Google Buzz social networking application, agreeing in March 2011 to adopt a comprehensive privacy program and submit to an independent privacy audit every two years.

The company caught the attention of the FTC again in March 2012, when the Journal reported that Google said it was linking Safari’s browsers to its servers in order to see if its account holders were signed into their accounts. The move, which bypassed Safari privacy settings, had the unintended consequence of setting additional cookies on users’ computers.

The FTC was looking into whether Google had misrepresented itself when it told its users it would abide by Apple’s privacy settings in Safari, and whether its actions violated its Google Buzz consent decree, the report said.

The FTC declined to comment on a possible deal with Google.

In a statement, Google declined to comment further on the reports of a settlement.

“We cannot comment on any specifics,” the company said. “However we do set the highest standards of privacy and security for our users. The FTC is focused on a 2009 help center page published more than two years before our consent decree, and a year before Apple changed its cookie-handling policy. We have now changed that page and taken steps to remove the ad cookies, which collected no personal information, from Apple’s browsers.”

Google is also believed to be under investigation by the French data protection authority CNIL over the Safari matter.

By  |  09:29 AM ET, 07/10/2012

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company