Google settles suit over browser cookies for $17 million

Nov. 18, 2013 at 5:14 PM

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Google has agreed to pay a $17 million settlement to end a suit over circumventing privacy settings in Apple's Safari browser, officials say.

The suit brought by 37 states and the District of Columbia said in 2011 and 2012 Google secretly stored web tracking cookies in Safari, overriding Apple's default settings that prohibited such third-party cookies from being installed.

"By tracking millions of people without their knowledge, Google violated not only their privacy, but also their trust," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.

New York will receive $899,580 of the settlement money, The Verge reported Monday.

In response to similar complaints from the Federal Trade Commission last year, Google agreed to another settlement of $22.5 million.

In both cases, Google maintained its storing of cookies was the result of a technical error.

"We work hard to get privacy right at Google and have taken steps to remove the ad cookies, which collected no personal information, from Apple's browsers," the company said in a statement.

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