Last week, unconfirmed rumors hit the Internet that claimed Google was going to be fined by the Federal Trade Commission over tracking users of the Safari web browser. Today, the FTC confirmed it would fine Google $22.5 million for these actions.
In an FTC press release, the government agency 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. The FTC added that Google told its Safari customers that they would be able to avoid being tracked because of the "default settings of the Safari browser used in Macs, iPhones and iPads."
In a statement to News.com, Google said that it has now " ... taken steps to remove the ad cookies, which collected no personal information, from Apple's browsers."
While a fine of $22.5 million may seem tiny to a company the size of Google, the FTC claims that the amount is the largest fine ever created for the violation of an FTC order. The agency said that Google violated a settlement reached in 2011 " .. which barred Google from – among other things – misrepresenting the extent to which consumers can exercise control over the collection of their information."