Judge accepts FTC's $22.5 million fine against Google

In August, the Federal Trade Commission announced it was going to fine Google $22.5 million for tracking users of Apple's Safari web browser. This week, a federal judge allowed the amount of that fine to go forward.

Bloomberg reports that U.S. District Judge Susan Illston made the decision to approve the fine in a San Francisco courtroom late on Friday. The actual amount of the FTC penalty was opposed by a group called Consumer Watchdog, which felt that the amount of the fine was not enough.

Consumer Watchdog also tried to make the case that the $22.5 million penalty was a clue as to what the commission might do for its separate antitrust case against Google. However, it appears that Judge Illston didn't buy that when she approved the fine.

Back in August, the FTC said that Google "placed an advertising tracking cookie on the computers of Safari users who visited sites within Google's DoubleClick advertising network" during parts of 2011 and 2012. At the same time, Google told users of the web browser that they could shut down tracking because of the default settings in Safari. Besides paying the fine, Google must agree to remove the tracking cookies for all Safari users by February 2014.

Source: Bloomberg | Image via Apple

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17 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Google just needs to disable the site to anyone that doesn't want to be tracked. The tracking is how their software does what it does for you. If you have a problem with it, you shouldn't be using it. In this case, people are too dumb to realize it so block them from using it. Simple solution.

Svggarden said,
Where/how do I collect MY money from Google? I'm one of the user.

Company fines always go to government coffers, probably wrong in hindsight.

68k said,
And guess what, if you use an iPhone or Facebook, you're being tracked as well.

The same with any product really...

Raa said,

The same with any product really...

Except that they knowingly took advantage of a flaw in the browser to achieve this tracking.

Lord Method Man said,
Google is a despicable company.

Could say the same for almost any multi-million dollar company in the world really...

"Besides paying the fine, Google must agree to remove the tracking cookies for all Safari users by February 2014."

The hell? Why do they give them that much time?

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,
"Besides paying the fine, Google must agree to remove the tracking cookies for all Safari users by February 2014."

The hell? Why do they give them that much time?

GS:mac

It's a generous time frame yes, Google should really get it done faster to draw a line under the issue.