Snooping can be costly to the snooper at times. Just ask Google.
The Internet giants will have to pay out $17 million to 37 U.S. states as well as Washington D.C., after it was found that Google was spying on users browsing the web using Safari. This isn’t the first time that Google has had to pay up for spying on people. Last year, the Federal Trade Commission fined Google $22.5 million.
Google employed a DoubleClick advertising loophole in order to spy on users, despite the fact that Apple, who made the Safari browser, prohibited such activity from occurring without the user’s permission.
Here’s what Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen had to say about the settlement and the case:
“Misrepresenting that tracking will not occur, when that is not the case, is unacceptable, as this settlement emphasizes.”
These are the states that will be divvying up the loot: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, 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.
Will Google learn from this mistake, especially considering that this isn’t the first time they’ve been caught spying on ‘net surfers? History indicates no, but ultimately time will tell.