Feeds

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

Don't be evil. Starting in 2014

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
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.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
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?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.