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Google agrees to pay largest fine in FTC history for bypassing Safari privacy settings [u] - Page 3

post #81 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Facebook is also under an FTC compliance order. I'll assume that the FTC had no issue with bypassing Safari settings as they've not made any issue of Facebook 9and others) using the same or similar exploit. The FTC's fine was due to Google's statement on their applicable privacy explanations page that if Safari users already had settings to discard cookies then no further action was needed. That wasn't correct. Seemingly the FTC was not too concerned with the actual bypassing of user settings as that's not what the fine was for.

 

In essence, bypass all you want but don't tell users flawed instructions on how to avoid it. At least that's the way I see it. 

 

 

Was not aware Facebook was under a similar FTC order.  Good to know.  I should have added "as far as I know".  

 

Has anyone published an article proving Facebook is exploiting Safari the same way Google did?   My take way was that it was the combination of breaking the order and then lying about how to disable tracking.  I can't imagine the FTC would give Facebook a free-pass.  

post #82 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by rednival View Post

 

 

Was not aware Facebook was under a similar FTC order.  Good to know.  I should have added "as far as I know".  

 

Has anyone published an article proving Facebook is exploiting Safari the same way Google did?   My take way was that it was the combination of breaking the order and then lying about how to disable tracking.  I can't imagine the FTC would give Facebook a free-pass.  

The FTC compliance order apparently doesn't consider bypassing of the user settings to be a violation for either Facebook or Google or anyone else. AFAIK it was Google's bad explanation (which could absolutely have been intentional) on how to turn the cookies off for Safari users that got them the fine, not the bypassing itself. The FTC seems to be OK with that. :(

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post #83 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

The FTC compliance order apparently doesn't consider bypassing of the user settings to be a violation for either Facebook or Google or anyone else. AFAIK it was Google's bad explanation (which could absolutely have been intentional) on how to turn the cookies off for Safari users that got them the fine, not the bypassing itself. The FTC seems to be OK with that. :(

 

 

I went back and re-read and I still take away something different, but I am not sure it is worth arguing about.  But this is FTA:

 

 

 

Quote:
The FTC wasn't just responding to Google's bypassing of Safari settings. Instead, the settlement involved the larger issue of an agreement the FTC made with Google last year addressing the privacy of users. Google's willful bypassing of Safari's settings violated that earlier consent order, the commission determined.
 
 
...
 
Commission members noted that the heart of the charges were aimed, not at Google's continuing to collect identifying data through cookies, but primarily at Google's false instructions to Safari users telling them that they didn't need to opt out because, Google had lied, Apple's default Safari settings were being respected by the company and that no further action on users' part was necessary.
 
 
...
 
Google remains under its consent order, and the FTC has left the door open to additional fines if the search giant continues to violate its agreement with the government not to bypass the rights of users and lie to them about what they are doing or provide false instructions about how to opt out of Google's data collections.

 

 

What I get from this:

  • Violating order drew attention.
  • False instructions resulted in historic fine (though insignificant by Google standards).
  • Continuing to violate order by bypassing browser restrictions or providing inaccurate instructions could lead to more fines

Edited by rednival - 8/10/12 at 11:03am
post #84 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by rednival View Post

 

 

I went back and re-read and I still take away something different, but I am not sure it is worth arguing about.  But this is FTA:

 

 

 

 

 

What I get from this:

  • The violating order drew attention.
  • False instructions resulted in historic fine (though insignificant by Google standards).
  • Continuing to violate order by bypassing browser restrictions or providing inaccurate instructions could lead to more fines

Your confusion about the the reasons behind the fine are because you're using AI's article for the explanation.  AI embellished the FTC statements with their own spin, adding a bit here and there for dramatic impact. Here's what the FTC really said:

http://ftc.gov/opa/2012/08/google.shtm

 

...and you're correct, it's really not worth arguing about the technical details. Suffice to say that Facebook won't get the same fines despite using the same exploits and placing similar cookies. They didn't give bad instructions to Safari users on how to avoid Facebook cookies.

 

Also since you weren't aware of Facebook and the FTC, there's a very recent article here commenting on their Nov/2011 settlement.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57490948-93/ftc-settles-facebook-privacy-complaint-sans-google-like-fine/

and the original Nov, 2011 settlement announcement from the FTC

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2011/11/privacysettlement.shtm

 

EDIT: I forgot to include the FTC statement on it's settlement agreement with Facebook quoted by CNET since you might prefer to do your own translation of it.

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/08/facebook.shtm

 

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for AI to report on it, but maybe they'll surprise us. . .


Edited by Gatorguy - 8/10/12 at 3:28pm
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post #85 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Your confusion about the the reasons behind the fine are because you're using AI's article for the explanation.  AI embellished the FTC statements with their own spin, adding a bit here and there for dramatic impact. Here's what the FTC really said:

http://ftc.gov/opa/2012/08/google.shtm

 

...and you're correct, it's really not worth arguing about the technical details. Suffice to say that Facebook won't get the same fines despite using the same exploits and placing similar cookies. They didn't give bad instructions to Safari users on how to avoid Facebook cookies.

 

Also since you weren't aware of Facebook and the FTC, there's a very recent article here commenting on their Nov/2011 settlement.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57490948-93/ftc-settles-facebook-privacy-complaint-sans-google-like-fine/

 

EDIT: I forgot to include the FTC statement on it's settlement agreement with Facebook since you might prefer to do your own translation of it rather than depending on CNET.

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/08/facebook.shtm

 

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for AI to report on it, but maybe they'll surprise us. . .

 

OK- after reading that- I get it.  You can place a tracking cookies just about however you want, but not if you tell people how to prevent it and do it anyway.  

 

.....I don't know.  It's possible it was a mistake.  This is almost certainly happened due to a bug in Safari.  I could see Google assuming that third-party cookies would be blocked and then finding out (surprise, surprise) they were not.  Ignorance though isn't an excuse, especially when your "oversight" benefits you and renders your instructions bogus.  They still deserve the fine if it WAS an accident for bad testing.  You'd think if you were under the watchful eyes of the FTC you'd test your darn "do not track" instructions.  I mean, come on...

 

New take away: if you tell someone how to block tracking, you better make darn sure you're instructions actually work.

post #86 of 90

Actually, as usual, GG is giving a misleading version of events. The FTC just, just, concluded a consent decree with Facebook. In fact, contrary to GG's "explanation", Google was fined for violating the consent decree with the FTC: for lying to the FTC when it agreed not to lie to consumers. Since the Facebook consent decree just, just, went into effect, they haven't been fined because they haven't lied to consumers (yet) after making a (legally binding) pledge not to.

 

In fact, if you go to the FTC link he gave, you'll see:

 

Quote:
For Your Information: 08/10/2012

FTC Approves Final Settlement With Facebook

Facebook Must Obtain Consumers' Consent Before Sharing Their Information Beyond Established Privacy Settings

 

Note that it's dated today, not November 2011 as he stated.

 

And, if you actually read the link he gave for Google, you'll see this:

 

Quote:
The FTC charged that Google’s misrepresentations violated a settlement it reached with the agency in October 2011, which barred Google from – among other things – misrepresenting the extent to which consumers can exercise control over the collection of their information.  The earlier settlement resolved FTC charges that Google used deceptive tactics and violated its privacy promises when it launched its social network, Google Buzz.

 

So, the bottom line is that Google was fined for violating the consent decree that was the result of previous privacy violations. Facebook hasn't been fined because no consent decree was previously in place. In other words, Google was fined because they are not only a repeat offender, but because they violated a legal agreement not to deceive consumers.

 

Now, if only GG would give the facts rather than his wild misrepresentations of them.

post #87 of 90

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 1/21/13 at 3:04pm
post #88 of 90

At least this week's Facebook settlement required real changes to how Facebook conducts business.  This settlement between Google and the FTC is nothing but a farce.

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

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   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

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post #89 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonBri View Post

Do consumers get anything for Google's privacy breach?
You didn't get your check yet? Me neither.sorta like those brokerage house fines.
post #90 of 90

It was only a matter of time. Some Brits have sued Google over the Safari cookies issue.

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/lawsuit-over-google-cookies-on-apples-safari-2013-1

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