Google to pay New York $900,000 as part of $17 million browser tracking settlement

Google settlement
Google agreed to pay New York some $900,000 as part of a $17 million settlement over allegations it placed unauthorized tracking “cookies” on web browsers.
Credit: Reuters

Google agreed to pay New York nearly $900,000 as part of a $17 million settlement over allegations that the company placed unauthorized tracking “cookies” on Apple web browsers in 2011 and 2012.

“Consumers should be able to know whether there are other eyes surfing the web with them,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement announcing the settlement. “By tracking millions of people without their knowledge, Google violated not only their privacy, but also their trust.”

Including New York, 37 states and the District of Columbia alleged that Google circumvented default settings on the Safari browser, allowing its advertising platform to track consumers information from June 2011 to February 2012.

The states said that the company stopped doing so after a Stanford University researcher discovered Google and three other online advertising companies were placing cookies without users’ knowledge.

Google did not admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement, but agreed to some reforms to prevent any violations of consumer privacy.

“We work hard to get privacy right at Google and have taken steps to remove the ad cookies, which collected no personal information, from Apple’s browsers. We’re pleased to have worked with the state attorneys general to reach this agreement,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders


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