Google will reportedly be fined $22.5 million for spying on millions of Apple customers. The search-giant is at the centre of yet another privacy row, having been accused of bypassing web security settings.
Allegedly, Google had tricked Apple’s Safari browser – found on iPhones, iPads and Mac computers – into dropping its automatic privacy safeguards. this enabled Google to snoop on users across the globe. This practice was discovered and uncovered by Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
The fine would be the largest penalty ever levied on a single company by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). However, it is not going to be a headache for Google as Google earned $2.9 billion last quarter.
Responding to CNN, Google said:
“We cannot comment on any specifics. However we do set the highest standards of privacy and security for our users.”
Google admitted using a technical maneuver to evade Safari’s default settings. Stanford University researcher Jonathan Mayer, pointed out that the problem was that Google’s workaround went much further than Google apparently realized.
Google told CNN Money at the time:
“The Safari browser contained functionality that then enabled other Google advertising cookies to be set on the browser. We didn’t anticipate that this would happen. We have now started removing these advertising cookies from Safari browsers.”
Seeing a big name in such controversy certainly shocks. Let us hope that Google will respect the privacy of users.