Privacy groups hail Google, FTC settlement over Apple Safari tracking
Privacy advocates today welcomed news of a possible Google proposal to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges related to its surreptitious tracking of Apple Safari users.
The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, today reported that Google had basically agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle the FTC charges.
If that figure holds, the fine would be the biggest ever levied by the FTC on a single company. The previous record was a $10 million fine the agencyimposed on data aggregator ChoicePoint Inc. in 2006 for a data breach that resulted in the compromise of nearly 160,000 consumer records.
While the fine is likely to be small change for Google, its significance cannot be underestimated, several privacy advocates said.
“The FTC fine’s impact on Google can’t just be measured in dollars,” said Jeffrey Chester, executive director of privacy-watchdog group the Center for Digital Democracy. ” It sends a strong signal to Google users that the company is still failing to do right by their privacy. If they don’t do a better job protecting privacy, it will face larger fines and greater political consequences.” Read More