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Report: Google Negotiating With FTC Over Safari ‘Cookiegate’ Fine
Google is reportedly negotiating with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to determine the fine it will pay for bypassing the privacy settings on Apple’s Safari web browser. That’s according to a Bloomberg report that cites a “person familiar with the matter.”
Bloomberg’s source says that Google could face a fine of “tens of millions of dollars.”
Back in February, the Wall Street Journal revealed how Google was getting around Safari’s privacy settings so that it could make its +1 buttons work on advertisements in Safari. In doing so, the company may have violated the terms of its Google Buzz privacy settlement, in which Google promised not to misrepresent its privacy practices to consumers. Because the FTC is investigating the “Cookiegate” incident as part of the Buzz agreement (as opposed to an entirely new case), the agency is able to act much more quickly than it normally does during individual investigations.
Neither the FTC nor Google commented for Bloomberg. We’ve also reached out to Google for more information and we’ll update this post if we get a reply.
Postscript: A Google spokesperson tells us that the company has no comment on the Bloomberg report, but added “We will, of course, cooperate with any officials who have questions.”