Feeds

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

Lot of states, and lawyers, getting richer

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
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
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.