Google Coughs Up Cookie Dough for Apple Breach

Paying $17M in privacy lapse

Google agreed to pay a total of $17 million to 36 states and Washington, D.C. to settle a privacy suit for trying to beat Apple’s cookie restrictions on its Safari Web browser.

In 2011 and 2012, Google developed a workaround to get past these settings, which were meant to block third-party cookies. Google was accused of placing third-party cookies through its DoubleClick ad exchange on computers of Safari users.

The industry is evolving away from the cookie, and it is becoming more difficult for outside entities to access the walled gardens of the Web.

As part of today’s settlement, Google said it will remove the cookies—which do not collect personally identifiable information—from Safari users’ computers. Google already settled with the Federal Trade Commission for $22.5 million over the same issue. 

Also, new rules are in place that now guide some of Google’s cookie policies: the company is not allowed to override privacy settings without consent, and it has to provide more clear information to users regarding its advertising and data collection practices. 

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