Google is said to be in negotiations with the Federal Trade Commission over how large of a fine it will have to pay for its privacy breach of Apple’s Safari web browser. A report from Bloomberg states that sources familiar with the matter claim that Google could possibly be fined around $10 million for violating Apple’s terms of consent. Once the fine is issued, Google will be the first company fined by the FTC for a violation of Internet privacy.
The FTC is said to be claiming that Google deceived consumers last year by planting cookies in their Safari browser, bypassing the software’s privacy settings. This action allowed Google to target Safari users with specific advertisements based off of their web browsing habits. Google claims that this was an unexpected incident and has removed the files related to this matter since discovering the error.
Last year Google signed a consent decree with the FTC stating that it did use deceptive tactics which violated its own privacy policies in the introduction of its now defunct Buzz social network in 2010. This 20-year settlement requires that Google uphold policies that protect consumer data and bars the company from any misrepresentation of how it handles consumer information. If Google violates this decree, the FTC has the authority to impose a fine of up to $16,000 per day per violation.