Google Sued for Violating Apple Browser Privacy Protection
Microsoft accuses company of also planting trackers in Internet Explorer
By Constantine von Hoffman, CIO
Google, which is already under FTC scrutiny for privacy issues, is now being sued for violating users’ privacy rights on Apple’s Safari web browser. On Friday it was revealed that Google and several advertising companies were evading the browser’s privacy controls by placing a special kind of tracking code on a handful of sites.
Google put code in its ads that mimicked users interacting with elements of a page – which overrides the browser’s no-tracking setting.
To Safari, these ads appeared as invisible forms, in turn allowing Google to install a tracking cookie. …The technique reaches far beyond those websites, however, because once the coding was activated, it could enable Google tracking across the vast majority of websites. Three other online-ad companies were found using similar techniques: Vibrant Media Inc., WPP PLC’s Media Innovation Group LLC and Gannett Co.’s PointRoll Inc.
In the lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Delaware, attorneys for Matthew Soble said, “Google’s willful and knowing actions violated” federal wiretapping laws and other computer-related statutes.
Google was already in trouble with the government over its privacy practices. Last year, as part of a settlement with the FTC the company pledged not to “misrepresent” its privacy practices to consumers. The fine for violating the agreement is $16,000 per violation, per day.