Washington - The Federal Trade Commission today announced it has reached a record $22.5 million settlement with Google relating to charges that the company misled users of Apple's Safari browser by telling them it would not place tracking "cookies" or show them targeted ads. In doing so, Google violated the terms of an earlier FTC privacy settlement. The FTC also charged that Google had implied to its users that it followed the Network Advertising Initiative's self-regulatory code of conduct.
"This action demonstrates the FTC is a champion for consumer privacy rights," said Justin Brookman, CDT's Director of Consumer Privacy. "For a long time, CDT has urged the FTC to use the full weight of its enforcement authority to protect privacy and the agency has absolutely stepped up to that challenge. It's especially impressive that the FTC moved so quickly to reach its largest settlement in history."
"It's telling that the FTC included a count for violating an industry code of conduct," said Leslie Harris, CDT President and CEO. "The Administration initiative seeking a collaborative approach to protecting consumer privacy depends on the FTC continuing to enforce strong, negotiated standards," Harris said. "This settlement sends an unambiguous message to companies that the FTC is ready and willing to aggressively monitor and enforce such codes."