It’s been a while now since the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) initiated an investigation over Google’s actual guidelines when it comes to privacy. After several users prompted questions, the Wall Street published an article about Google’s tracking of Apple’s Safari. This week, the FTC announced Google has to pay $22.5 million over the privacy charges.
In February this year, Google successfully avoided a very damaging situation. After several leaks talked about the company’s deal with advertisers allowing them to track Safari users, Google immediately took down the controversial technology. But it was just a bit too late. The FTC had already initiated an investigation against Google. An insider told the CNN, Google was given a $22.5 million fine.
For the moment, the source’s information wasn’t officially confirmed. In a statement Google gave CNN, the company said: “We cannot comment on any specifics. However we do set the highest standards of privacy and security for our users”.
Obviously, when it comes to a company as big as Google, a $22.5 million five is nothing in terms of revenue. In fact, based on a Wall Street Journal estimate, $22.5 million is just about the amount of money Google makes in five hours alone. However, for consumers and the FTC too, a $2.9 billion worth company proved guilty and force to pay up is a significant success.
For the billions of internet users these days, privacy is of utmost importance. Google was long perceived as one of the most user-oriented company. With February’s privacy crossing report, Google’s image damaged some more. The Google privacy revamp announcement and implementation only made things worse.
Back in February, Google was trying to wash its hands of the severe accusations. The company tried to explain the privacy issue was a side-effect of Google’s attempt to cross over Safari’s default settings. Google’s explanation at that time reads:
“The Safari browser contained functionality that then enabled other Google advertising cookies to be set on the browser. We didn’t anticipate that this would happen”. “We have now started removing these advertising cookies from Safari Browser” says Google’s statement for CNN.
But users know better. It’s hard to believe Google’s geniuses simply dismissed this particular possibility. In the end, Google is the company with experts that managed to create a network similar to the human brain only from computers.