or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Google to pay $17M settlement for bypassing Apple's Safari security settings
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Google to pay $17M settlement for bypassing Apple's Safari security settings

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
As part of a settlement announcement on Monday, Google has agreed to pay out $17 million to 37 U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia, for ignoring anti-tracking protocols baked in to Apple's Safari Web browser.



According to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the state attorneys general took Google to task over unauthorized placement of cookies on users' machines when they visited sites on the Internet search giant's DoubleClick ad network between 2011 and 2012, reports PCWorld.

The process was considered a breach of privacy as Google did not ask permission from visitors, nor did it inform them that the tracking method was being used.

"Consumers should be able to know whether there are other eyes surfing the web with them," Schneiderman said. "By tracking millions of people without their knowledge, Google violated not only their privacy, but also their trust."

Over one year ago, Google agreed to pay a $22.5 million fine to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over the same questionable practices. At the time, it was the largest penalty ever paid to the FTC for a civil violation.

For its part, Google continues to assert that no private information was gathered by the tactic, and that subsequently inserted cookies were a byproduct of unforeseen behavior from Safari. Safari by default blocks third-party cookies, but at the same time allows for cookie-based web features such as "Like" buttons and personalized content.

In a statement to AppleInsider last year, Google explained:

However, the Safari browser contained functionality that then enabled other Google advertising cookies to be set on the browser. We didn't anticipate that this would happen, and we have now started removing these advertising cookies from Safari browsers. It's important to stress that, just as on other browsers, these advertising cookies do not collect personal information.


As part of the settlement, Google promised not to override any Web browser's cookie blocking features unless first given specific consent from the user. In addition, Google will be providing more information to consumers on how cookies work and how to use them.

"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 said.
post #2 of 42
Good. . Whether really by accident or purposefully it shouldn't have happened. Personally I think that even if it started out as a surprise I doubt it took Google long to recognize what the result was. They shoulda put a stop to it long before they did. Now time to settle it, move on and do better.
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #3 of 42
"unforeseen behavior from Safari"

Keep at it Google. I think most of your employees use Safari themselves, but yeah, keep on insisting that you had no idea what you were doing. Bit like trying to gather SSID, passwords, publishing copyright work of others, because, you know, it's really cool to start a company and share all your knowledge, make it accessible to the world.

You know, some things are private for a reason. That's why we call it private.
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
post #4 of 42
The word clockwork comes to mind here after hitting the submit button just now.
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
post #5 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

"unforeseen behavior from Safari"

publishing copyright work of others...

You probably missed a copyright case involving Google that finally settled last week after several years of meandering thru the courts. It got a lot of press but not a peep at AI surprisingly.
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #6 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

The word clockwork comes to mind here after hitting the submit button just now.

And we both had the same general view too. Google either knew or should have known what the result was. Either way deserved punishment.
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #7 of 42

Where's my money from this settlement?

 

It says that Google will pay about $900,000 to my state. What does the state do with the money? Pocket it and defraud the tax payers? This settlement should only benefit Safari users, as they were the ones who were violated by Google.

 

Since I'm an Apple user and a Safari user and I live in one of the states that will be receiving money, should I not be receiving any money? I don't care if it's only a few pennies, it's the principle of the matter.

post #8 of 42

If only the NSA was forced to do this.

post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Where's my money from this settlement?

It says that Google will pay about $900,000 to my state. What does the state do with the money? Pocket it and defraud the tax payers? This settlement should only benefit Safari users, as they were the ones who were violated by Google.

Since I'm an Apple user and a Safari user and I live in one of the states that will be receiving money, should I not be receiving any money? I don't care if it's only a few pennies, it's the principle of the matter.

Hey, Google is going to give everyone more information about cookies for the next five years. Be Happy!

EDIT: IIRC there were a few other companies using similar bypass techniques that also found themselves in court. Guess those must still be ongoing? I'll see if I can find it.
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #10 of 42
We work hard to get privacy right at Google" a Google spokesperson said.

Ha, ha, ha , ha, ha, ha!

Google spy on the NSA /s
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Now time to settle it, move on and do better.

The Google groupie has spoken.

I say dig deeper into Google other business activities, see what we find, and fine harder.

They have nothing to fear if they're innocent, right?

1wink.gif
I always appreciate an Android fan who puts his energy into advertising Apple products.
Reply
I always appreciate an Android fan who puts his energy into advertising Apple products.
Reply
post #12 of 42
Do no Evil. LOL
post #13 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


You probably missed a copyright case involving Google that finally settled last week after several years of meandering thru the courts. It got a lot of press but not a peep at AI surprisingly.

No, I read it, here:
http://www.popularmechanics.com/how-to/blog/heres-why-a-judge-finally-decided-google-books-is-legal-16161460

And this was an easy win for them. I just think it's a waste of tax payers money to drag this on for so long.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


And we both had the same general view too. Google either knew or should have known what the result was. Either way deserved punishment.

I don't think $17M is any punishment to Google, but ok, they lost. For once I think Google is on the same page as me: they're probably thinking "big deal".
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
post #14 of 42
Somewhat unrelated:

1. How does zeobit.com (or however you spell it) bypass 'block cookies always' in Safari?

2. How does TPB bypass 'block popups' in Safari?

3. Why when I sometimes delete a cookie (eg zeobit) in Safari prefs does it literally 1 second later reappear before by eyes and require an additional subsequent deletion to be gone?

These are ongoing issues with Safari that I think need to seriously be addressed.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #15 of 42
I'm really starting to get tired of googles shenanigans
post #16 of 42

WTF?!?!?!?

 

That's all?!! How much average hacker would have paid should he did something similar?!?!

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

Reply

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

Reply
post #17 of 42

17Million.   about 90 minutes of profits for Google.

post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

I don't think $17M is any punishment to Google, but ok, they lost.

It's big enough a number for the average person to recognise it as a PR issue for Google.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post
 

17Million.   about 90 minutes of profits for Google.

 

Not about the amount. It’s about the bragging rights to call Google “evil.” 

post #20 of 42
Originally Posted by skyweir View Post
Do no Evil. LOL

 

Nope! Big distinction there. Google’s unofficial motto is “Don’t be evil”. That doesn’t mean they can’t do evil.

 

Originally Posted by Ireland View Post
1. How does zeobit.com (or however you spell it) bypass 'block cookies always' in Safari?

 

I’d guess the same way Google did?

 
2. How does TPB bypass 'block popups' in Safari?

 

A lot of sites do that these days. Those are pop-unders, not ups. I forget the mechanism by which they’re called, but it’s different from what Safari is looking for with a pop-up.

post #21 of 42

I use a little program called littlesnitch, and you would be surprised about all the things Google is doing behind the scene of your computer. I have blocked most all of Google various snooping cookies they load onto your computer. I also use an ad blocker to block their ads. For the most part I think I got most their stuff block from phoning home to the mother ship of google.

post #22 of 42

Couch cushion change. Pointless.

post #23 of 42

We should start a class action lawsuit against those evil merchants in Mountain View. Google is just plain evil.

post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Hey, Google is going to give everyone more information about cookies for the next five years. Be Happy!
That sounds analogous to a convicted burglar telling me he still going to break into my home again, only this time he's going to tell which door he's are going to break down so I can try to put better locks on it. I'm so happy!

We've always been at war with Eastasia...

Reply

We've always been at war with Eastasia...

Reply
post #25 of 42
What is Google's problem? Google just reminds me of a bunch of immature kids that have NO business sense. I think each employee of Google has to go through an business ethics course and be tested and monitored. I think this "Free for All" attitude of theirs just gets them into more trouble.

Thankfully, I don't have their OS.
post #26 of 42
Saying tracking information which is then used to feed you personalised advertising isn't personal information is stretching it a bit...
post #27 of 42
I trust Google to protect my privacy like I trust an insurance company to protect my health.
post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Good. . Whether really by accident or purposefully it shouldn't have happened. Personally I think that even if it started out as a surprise I doubt it took Google long to recognize what the result was. They shoulda put a stop to it long before they did. Now time to settle it, move on and do better.

 

Guess what, they're still putting tracking cookies without the user's consent. I have Little Snitch and have been playing this "cat & mouse" game for quite some time. I don't even use Google search and run with my cookies off until absolutely necessary. I have changed the permissions on the local storage folder but they now put their stuff into the cache.

 

Flash puts their cookies somewhere on my system even when Click-to-Flash is not clicked. I know because I use KFC but the cookies are written back as soon as I open Safari. Most Internet users don't realize what's going on in the background. We need better privacy protections. AI is one of the worst tracking offenders.

post #29 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Somewhat unrelated:

1. How does zeobit.com (or however you spell it) bypass 'block cookies always' in Safari?

2. How does TPB bypass 'block popups' in Safari?

3. Why when I sometimes delete a cookie (eg zeobit) in Safari prefs does it literally 1 second later reappear before by eyes and require an additional subsequent deletion to be gone?

These are ongoing issues with Safari that I think need to seriously be addressed.

 

It's being rewritten by Abode's Flash even if you're not using it. See my other post here.

post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

As part of a settlement announcement on Monday, Google has agreed to pay out $17 million to 37 U.S. states...

My that's good of them, to pay out a little pocket change and avoid sanctions from the FTC.

post #31 of 42
Originally Posted by FBaker View Post
For example, there are seven trackers on this page.

 

Speaking of AI doing things related to ads, does anyone see some of the words in their posts turning green with a blue line underneath? Or whatever it is; I’m not on the computer that did it right now.

 

When I saw that, it reminded me of those sites that throw ads on hover states in words of articles, which is, in my mind, the third sickest, most pathetic form of visual advertising available to the Internet right now. Is that what those are? If so, I’m glad the combination of whatever blockers I’m using here stops them.

post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by FBaker View Post
 

If you're not using the Ghostery browser plugin, you may want to try it.  Very eye opening.  For example, there are seven trackers on this page.

 

I'm using DNT+ and LS and yes there are 7 trackers on this forum page and that's down from 14 before Safari added more protection. All the Mac sites are making big $$ on us.

post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post
 

 

Not about the amount. It’s about the bragging rights to call Google “evil.” 

 

Evil and profitable companies don't care about bragging rights

post #34 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post


The Google groupie has spoken.

I say dig deeper into Google other business activities, see what we find, and fine harder.

They have nothing to fear if they're innocent, right?

1wink.gif

I suspect you are on the right track.  Google is in the business of collecting data - they essentially give their products away, and make money off of information the products deliver to them.  Were they "found out" because this was the only time they have violated privacy or because they didn't handle it as well as they usually do.  It looks like there model is to control devices in every aspect of our lives as they can, to record what we are doing.

 

I'm not saying it's nefarious in nature, and it may only be used for ad business - but, we shouldn't be surprised when abuses are discovered, nor stunned if they use the data at our expense.

post #35 of 42
Oh Google. Time to sell more user privacy...
post #36 of 42
17million is a fraction of the cost of doing business. Google will keep doing this. The government shouldve made them pay a billion dollars. I guarantee the unlawful behavior would stop.
post #37 of 42
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post
The government shouldve made them pay a billion dollars. I guarantee the unlawful behavior would stop.

 

Really? Samsung didn’t.

post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Really? Samsung didn’t.
Nope. Secondly we are talking about Google.
post #39 of 42
Great news for the state. Where's my cut for my info being violated? Doubt any of us will see anything. Greedy politicians.
post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"We work hard to get privacy right at Google.

Oh right, please talk us through checking all incoming and outgoing googlemail emails so you can target adverts.
Doesn't sound all that private.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Google to pay $17M settlement for bypassing Apple's Safari security settings