A couple of months ago, The Wall Street Journal raised a huge stink when they reported that Google was tracking millions of iOS & Mac Safari users against their wishes using a loophole in the way that Safari’s cookie handling algorithm.
Google on its parts always said it had done nothing wrong, and used known functionality in Safari to make sure their advertising cookies were always stored locally on users’ machines, even if their cookie settings were set to private. Looks like that might not have been enough for the FTC, though, who are now looking to start doling out fines to Google over the issue.
According to a report in the San Jose Mercury News, negotiations between Google and the US Federal Trade Commission have been ongoing, with the FTC looking to see if Google volated a settlement agreement they made in 2011 over privacy concerns related to the now dead-as-a-doornail Google Buzz.
If the FTC decides that Google’s (now ceased) exploitation of the Safari cookie loophole was in violation with their privacy agreement, the search giant could be nailed with fines up to $16,000 per day. Chump change for Google, of course, but it just shows how on edge the government is about privacy these days.