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Google Slapped With $17 Million Fine To Settle Multi-State Safari Privacy Probe Suit

Google has reached a $17 million settlement with 37 states and the District of Columbia over a lawsuit alleging that it exploited a loophole in the privacy settings of Apple’s Safari Web browser.

As noted by Reuters:

The Safari Web browser used on iPhones and iPads automatically blocks third-party cookies, but Google altered the computer code of its cookies and was able to circumvent the blocks between June 2011 and February 2012, according to the states' allegations.

In August 2012, Google was hit with a $22.5 million fine to settle a similar probe suit with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Under the new settlement, Google has agreed to refrain from using its special code for bypassing browser settings without user permission. It also agreed to better inform users about the hows and whys of browser cookies at least for the next five years.

Google, however, has not admitted to any wrongdoing in the settlement.

The multi-state settlement includes Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

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