It was just this month that Google was penalized and fined for hindering and getting in the way of an investigation that the FCC was carrying out, and now it seems that the U.S. government is looking to bill the internet giant once again for its actions. This time around Google has been found wandering in peoples personal iOS devices and gained entry through Apples’ Safari Web Browser. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission appears to be in a position trying to decide whether to fine the firm for breaking into iPhone’s and iPad’s. It was found that the giant search engine had unlawfully bypassed privacy settings that were active on the Apple smart devices and through the Safari web browser it broke in, this left the device users vulnerable to tracking cookies.
According to other sources that are more knowledgeable about the matter the Federal Trade Commission is conducting a thorough investigation and is Google could once agan be subject to heavy fines, which may be levied upon it within the next thirty days.
After a Stanford researcher uprooted the internet giant’s actions, the Consumer Watchdog filed this complaint against Google. As of now Google is accused of overriding and breaking into personal devices and hence allowing other sites and itself to place tracking cookies on to those devices. As with other browsers Apple’s Safari browser does gives users the option to block third party cookies, which are in essence bits of code which track a user’s internet usage. Despite the fact that these users had the option of blocking third party cookies activated, Google did not consider this and went forth to do as it wanted. This seems to have been an unworthy move by Google. The reason for this action by Google, or more specifically, the code which was instilled, was to activate the +1 button within advertisements. This would mean that users who had signed in to Google+ via Safari could now access the +1 button which would be visible within the advertisements which are again powered by Google’s own, DoubleClick network. When Google was confronted with this news the company did admit to having used this tactic, but declared, that since then it had no longer continued this practice.
At this point in time the main focus for the Federal Trading Commission is to analyze whether or not dishonored a previous settlement. As in the past, the 2011 settlement agreement between the Federal Trading Commission and Google regarding Google Buzz was made. Earlier on in this year Google also announced that its users privacy was a major concern to the firm, however this action does contradict strongly with that statement. In light of the agreement which was settled between the two, the Federal Trading Commission does have the authority to charge fines worth up to $ 16000 per violation for each day that Google was hacking in to iPad’s and iPhone’s. However this fine would only be levied in the case that the search site is found guilty of violating the agreements conditions. According to Google the Safari browser already contained functionality which enabled other cookies to be set on the browser which also includes Google’s own advertising cookies. However the firm also mentioned that it would be cooperative with any regulatory body that may have questions regarding this matter.
Other than the fines the agency has also ordered Goggles’ privacy policies to be audited for the following twenty years after Google had put in a word of apology about the Buzz policy violation, though still stressing on the fact that user trust greatly matters to Google.