Google to Pay $22.5 Million to Settle FTC Charges it Misrepresented Privacy Assurances

Google to Pay $22.5 Million to Settle FTC Charges it Misrepresented Privacy Assurances

August 9, 2012 Updated Aug 9, 2012 at 12:43 PM CDT

(FTC news release) Google Inc. has agreed to pay a record $22.5 million civil penalty to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it misrepresented to users of Apple Inc.’s Safari Internet browser that it would not place tracking “cookies” or serve targeted ads to those users, violating an earlier privacy settlement between the company and the FTC.

According to a FTC news release issued Thursday:

The settlement is part of the FTC’s ongoing efforts make sure companies live up to the privacy promises they make to consumers, and is the largest penalty the agency has ever obtained for a violation of a Commission order.  In addition to the civil penalty, the order also requires Google to disable all the tracking cookies it had said it would not place on consumers’ computers. 

“The record setting penalty in this matter sends a clear message to all companies under an FTC privacy order,” said Jon Leibowitz, Chairman of the FTC.  “No matter how big or small, all companies must abide by FTC orders against them and keep their privacy promises to consumers, or they will end up paying many times what it would have cost to comply in the first place.”

Read the entire FTC news release HERE.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.