Originally posted on Gigaom:
The Federal Trade Commission today confirmed that it has imposed a record-breaking fine on Google (s goog) over the search giant’s decision to circumvent privacy settings on the Apple’s (s aapl) Safari browser.
Google will pay a $22.5 million penalty as punishment for breaking the terms of a 20-year privacy settlement that the FTC had slapped on the company last year. Under that settlement, Google had to pledge it would not “misrepresent” the degree over which users had control of their privacy settings.
The FTC found Google had committed such a misrepresentation when it placed tools known as “cookies” to collect advertising information from users even though the company had suggested Apple’s browser settings would prevent this from occurring. In the words of the FTC:
for several months in 2011 and 2012, Google placed a certain advertising tracking cookie on the computers of Safari users who visited sites within Google’s…
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