Feeds

Judge confirms Google's miserly $22.5m Safari privacy FTC payout

Don't be evil. Starting in 2014

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A US judge has accepted Google's offer of just $22.5m to settle with the FTC over Safari cookies, despite pressure from a consumer rights group to stiffen the penalty.

District Judge Susan Illston decided that the agreement was "substantively fair, adequate and reasonable", rejecting Consumer Watchdog's objections that the penalty was too small and Google hadn't admitted any liability.

Google got in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission when it was discovered that Safari browser users were being tracked by the firm's cookies despite their privacy settings. The Chocolate Factory had already signed a legal agreement with the FTC over Google Buzz privacy blunders and promised not to do anything like that again.

In the Safari case, Google claimed ignorance of the cookies tracking Safari users all over the place and offered the small fine and to disable all the cookies it had placed on computers already by February 2014.

Consumer Watchdog said the fine wasn't enough to cover the amount Google promised in the Buzz agreement if it breached privacy again.

"The statutory maximum would be $16,000 for each violation, and thus could far exceed the $22.5 million. Even if one-tenth of one percent of Safari users saw the misrepresentation, the statutory penalty would exceed $3 billion," the rights group argued.

But Judge Illston said there weren't enough consumer losses or Google profits to warrant a bigger fine. She added that there was no legal reason to reject the settlement because of Google's refusal to admit its guilt. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.