Google to pay $17mn for spying

Google has not acknowledged any wrongdoing saying the violation has been an accidental side effect of efforts to make it easier for people to recommend ads.

US technology giant Google is paying $17 million to 37 states and the District of Columbia for spying on users of a Web browser developed by Apple Inc.

The settlement was announced on Monday after it was revealed that DoubleClick, a Google subsidiary that develops and provides Internet advertising services, manipulated a technological loophole to spy on millions of people using Safari Web browsers in 2011 and 2012.

Tracking online activities of Safari users, Google�™s DoubleClick could figure out what kinds of ads were more appealing to various Safari users.

The spying was being practiced while Apple Inc. prohibited tracking what Safari users were doing online without their permission.

The violation of Safari�™s privacy policies was first reported in February 2012 and Google had assured users of the Web browser that they were not being tracked until the loophole was revealed by a graduate student at Stanford University.

Google has not acknowledged any wrongdoing saying the violation has been an accidental side effect of efforts to make it easier for people to recommend ads.

�œWe work hard to get privacy right at Google and have taken steps to remove the ad cookies, which collected no personal information, from Apple�™s browsers,” said Google in a statement on Monday. �œWe�™re pleased to have worked with the state attorneys general to reach this agreement.”

Wisconsin Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen, however, says assuring users that their privacy rights would not be violated while their online activities are being monitored �œis unacceptable, as this settlement emphasizes.”

ISH/ARA

Source: Press TV