Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Big Data
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Google Settles Privacy Suit with 37 States for $17 Million
Google Settles Privacy Suit with 37 States for $17 Million

By Seth Fitzgerald
November 19, 2013 2:48PM

    Bookmark and Share
Cookies are generally used to track people's Internet usage and are one of the main tools employed by advertisers, many of which use Google AdWords for their ads. By disabling those privacy settings on the Safari Web browser, Google was allowing more advertisers to target users even though they were breaking certain rules in order to do so.
 



Google has settled a privacy lawsuit with 37 states and the District of Columbia for $17 million. The lawsuit stemmed from Google's use of tracking cookies on Apple's Safari Web browser from June 2011 to February 2012, when it had led users to believe their Web surfing was not being tracked.

Along with paying $17 million, Google agreed it would no longer override browser settings or omit information that is important to users when dealing with cookies and privacy settings.

Overriding Settings

The first person to notice that Google was disabling certain settings on Safari was Stanford privacy and law researcher Jonathan Mayer. Mayer found that the search giant was using a snippet of JavaScript to override user settings, allowing it to leave cookies on computers.

Cookies are generally used to track people's Internet usage and are one of the main tools employed by advertisers, many of which use Google AdWords for their ads. By disabling those privacy settings, Google was allowing more advertisers to target users even though they were breaking certain rules in order to do so.

Safari users who had been trying to prevent cookies from being installed on their computer were doing so due to concerns regarding how much information advertisers have been able to obtain on them.

Even though Google maintains it never collected private user data with this practice, it agreed to pay the $17 million anyway. Considering how large Google is, the company likely wanted the case to go away and was no longer interested in fighting it.

Correcting the Issue

As soon as articles began to come out confronting Google over its decision to override browser settings, the search giant removed cookies from the affected users' Safari browsers.

"Unlike other major browsers, Apple’s Safari browser blocks third-party cookies by default. However, Safari enables many Web features for its users that rely on third parties and third-party cookies, such as 'Like' buttons. Last year, we began using this functionality to enable features for signed-in Google users on Safari who had opted to see personalized ads and other content -- such as the ability to '+1' things that interest them,” said Google's senior VP for communications and public policy, Rachel Whetstone.

An almost identical case was settled for $22 million in 2012 between Google and the Federal Trade Commission. Google refused to say that it was collecting private user data in either instance but it put up little opposition to the settlements.

Whether or not private data was actually collected through this practice, Google still violated user rights by overriding their own browser settings, which is why the company corrected the issue so quickly after the word got out.

Even though the users were the ones that had to deal with the privacy violation, according to the law, they will not receive compensation as a result of this case.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Big Data
1.   Business Impact of IBM-Apple Deal
2.   Esri, SAP Team on Data Mapping
3.   Comcast Customer Service Fiasco
4.   Apple, IBM Team on Mobile Biz Apps
5.   U.N.: Nations Hide Digital Snooping


advertisement
Comcast Customer Service Fiasco
Lessons to be learned for all companies.
Average Rating:
Apple, IBM Team on Mobile Biz Apps
A match made in technology heaven.
Average Rating:
U.K. Wants Data Retention Law
After citizens right-to-privacy verdict.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
New Web Tracking Technologies Defeat Privacy Protections
Recently developed Web tracking tools are able to circumvent even the best privacy defenses, according to a new study by researchers at Princeton and the University of Leuven in Belgium.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
 
Contrary to Report, Lenovo's Staying in Small Windows Tablets
Device maker Lenovo has clarified a report that indicated it is getting out of the small Windows tablet business -- as in the ThinkPad 8 and the 8-inch Miix 2. But the firm said it is not exiting that market.
 
Seagate Unveils Networked Drives for Small Businesses
Seagate is out with five new networked attached storage products aimed at small businesses. The drives are for companies with up to 50 workers, and range in capacity from two to 20 terabytes.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.