Google may see the costliest repercussion from its alleged Apple Safari privacy breach coming from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
“We will of course cooperate with any officials who have questions,” Google spokesman Chris Gaither told Bloomberg.
The Mountain View-based company was caught tracking user activity on mobile Apple devices. The search giant is accused of violating federal laws and user privacy by installing cookies and trackers onto default Apple Safari browsers.
Google allegedly bypassed Safari settings with a software trick, maneuvering around the Safari limitations on third-party tracking using “special computer code.” The Wall Street Journal first reported the Google Apple Safari tracking in February.
The code was first spotted by Jonathan Meyer, a researcher at Stanford University’s The Center for Internet and Society. Meyer described the “Safari Trackers” in a blog post.
Google removed the Safari code after the WSJ report was published. In Google’s rebuttal, the company said it was only trying to get the Google “+1″ button on many different websites. They said the code was not collecting any personal information from users at all.
How will a hefty fine affect Internet privacy for users? Tell us in the comments if you think the fine will persuade more companies to abide by privacy laws.