Feeds

Google coughs up $17m to end Safari STALKER COOKIE brouhaha

Lot of states, and lawyers, getting richer

Boost IT visibility and business value

Google has settled its US legal woes over allowing third-party tracking of Safari users without their knowledge and consent for the relatively paltry amount of $17m, to be shared among 37 states and the District of Columbia – aka Washington DC.

The settlement [PDF] states that between June 1, 2011, and February 15, 2012 Google managed to subvert Safari's code using JavaScript to allow the installation of DoubleClick cookies, and neglected to tell users about it. Stanford researcher Jonathan Mayer spotted the behavior and the Chocolate Factory halted the practice shortly after getting caught

"Consumers should be able to know whether there are other eyes surfing the web with them. By tracking millions of people without their knowledge, Google violated not only their privacy, but also their trust," said New York's attorney general Schneiderman, whose state will receive $899,580 in the deal. "We must give consumers the reassurance that they can browse the Internet safely and securely."

As part of the settlement Google has agreed to shut down any DoubleClick cookies if they fire up before February 14, 2014, (when they'll expire anyway), to set up a website for the next five years, explaining accurately what its cookie policy is. Google doesn't admit wrongdoing in the settlement.

"We work hard to get privacy right at Google and have taken steps to remove the ad cookies, which collected no personal information, from Apple’s browsers," a Google spokesperson told The Register in a statement. "We're pleased to have worked with the state attorneys general to reach this agreement."

An interesting turn of phrase. Back in June Google told El Reg exactly the same thing over the Street View Wi-Fi tapping saga. "Working hard to get privacy right," seems to be something of a Chocolate Factory challenge. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.