Block on Trump's Asylum Ban Upheld by Supreme Court
Remember that time Google wrote cookies to deliberately circumvent privacy settings in Safari users' browsers and to track user activity?
No? No big deal. Sure, it was hugely invasive, but if the settlements are any indication, no one seems to be particularly concerned. The Internet giant, which had $14.9 billion in revenue last quarter, will pay about $17 million to 37 states as part of a settlement in ongoing litigation over the issue. According to The Associated Press, it would take the company about three hours to generate enough revenue to cover the tab.
Before a graduate student at Stanford stumbled upon the code, Google had assured Safari (Apple's default browser) users that they would not be tracked unless they opted-in by changing their browser settings. Instead, the cookie used circumvented the browser settings, allowing Google to track users' behavior across multiple sites.
Google claimed that the entire matter was an accident and disabled the cookies after they were discovered.
Last year, the Federal Trade Commission fined Google $22.5 million. At the time, it was the largest penalty ever for a civil violation, reports the AP.
According to a press release from the New York Attorney General's office, Google has also agreed to do the following:
The AP reports that Google will maintain a special webpage dedicated to the company's cookie use for the next five years.
If you think cookies are bad, according to Valleywag, the company is now testing a program that tracks smartphone users' locations to determine which stores they visit, where they eat, etc., in order to measure the impact of their mobile ads.
And it's not just Android phones. iPhone users who open a Google app, such as the Google search app, or Gmail, Chrome, or Google Maps, can also have their location tracked.
What do you think the payout on that will be, in 2015 or so -- $30 million?
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