Google Will Pay $22.5m Fine For Safari Case
The largest fine ever given by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has been handed to Google for breaching security on Apple's Safari Internet browser over user privacy.
Google was placing cookies on users' devices via Safari that would track Internet browsing behavior. If you visited Google with Safari, you likely got the cookie.
Apple's browser was set to deny third-party cookies unless the user opted in to receiving them. Google exploited a bug in the software that allowed it to place a temporary cookie.
The FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz has stated that the penalty was partially designed to send a message to other companies that they weren't above the FTC and to warn them to keep consumers' privacy.
Google doesn't have a great reputation for user privacy and was found to use deceptive tactics and violated its privacy policies when it introduced its social network, Google Buzz, back in 2010.
Many don't believe the fine was large enough. According to BusinessWeek.com, Consumer Watchdog, a group in Santa Monica, California felt that the fine wasn't large enough given Google's vast profits. Last year it had a network income of $9.7 billion, and it'll rise to $13.7 billion in 2012 according to 34 analysts.
The fine hasn't even dented the stock price - today it rose to $642.35. The stock hasn't done greatly this year though, declining 0.43% in 2012.