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N.Y. to get nearly $900,000 in Google settlement

Rochester Business Journal
November 18, 2013

New York is in line for an $899,580 share of a $17 million multistate settlement with Google Inc., state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Monday.

Attorneys general of 36 states, including New York, took Google to task over the search engine giant’s DoubleClick advertising platform’s role in putting third-party tracking cookies on Apple Inc. brand computers.

The settlement comes on top of a $22.5 million fine the Federal Trade Commission slapped on Google in August. The FTC fine—the largest ever doled out by the agency—came after the FTC found that Google violated a previous order by falsely claiming it did not put tracking cookies on Apple computers.

DoubleClick routinely puts cookies on computers of users who use Google’s search engine. But Apple’s Safari operating system has a default setting that blocks tracking cookies.

In mid-2011 DoubleClick added coding designed to defeat Safari’s cookie-blocking feature. The attorneys general said that violated consumer-protection and privacy laws.

Google dropped the offending DoubleClick coding in February 2012 after news reports exposed it and consumers objected to the secret tracking. As part of the settlement with attorneys general, Google agreed to:

  • •    No longer deploy such coding without a user’s consent;
  • •    Not misrepresent or omit salient details of its information-gathering practices and policies;
  • •    Provide better information about cookies and how it uses them; and
  • •    Make sure tracking cookies already placed on Apple computers expire.


“By tracking millions of people without their knowledge, Google violated not only their privacy, but also their trust,” Schneiderman said.
   
(c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail service@rbj.net.
 

 


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