Feeds

Google faces WHOPPING FTC fine for Safari privacy gaffe

Millions of juiced Apple surfers could add up to huge blow

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Google is reportedly going to be slapped with a bigger regulatory fine than the meagre one handed down to it from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) late last week.

According to Mercury News, which cites anonymous sources familiar with the confabs between the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Google, the search giant is expected to be hit with a larger penalty over its bypassing of the default privacy settings of Apple's Safari browser.

The FTC – which is the Stateside consumer watchdog – could issue that fine within the next 30 days, the newspaper reported.

Its chums over at US communications regulator, the FCC, fined Google $25,000 last week for failing to aid its investigation into the company's "accidental" Street View fleet's Wi-Fi payload data slurp-fest.

But, significantly, the same probe failed to find that Google's actions had been unlawful because the data it collected was not encrypted.

As heavily documented in these pages, Google has been undergoing intense scrutiny of its business practices on both sides of the Atlantic for some time now.

In March, the Wall Street Journal reported that the FTC had widened its investigation of the firm to include its bypass of privacy settings on Apple's Safari browser.

Today's Mercury News piece reasserted other reports that the FTC is investigating the Safari snafu in relation to its existing consent decree. If that has been violated, then the commission could swiftly enforce that order by slapping a hefty fine on the Chocolate Factory.

Following Google's Buzz blunder in 2010, the company agreed last year to undergo biennial privacy audits for the next 20 years. As part of that agreement, Google avoided being fined and did not have to admit that its biz practices had been unlawful.

In fact, such a fine from the FTC could be huge, adding up to as much as $16,000 per violation per day.

The watchdog is currently trying to determine exactly how many people were affected by the Safari breach. That number of iPad, iPhone and Mac users could run into millions, the newspaper said. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.