Google agrees to pay $17M settlement in privacy case

Posted November 18, 2013

— Google will pay $17 million to 37 states and the District of Columbia to settle claims it violated consumer privacy by placing unauthorized cookies on computers using certain Apple Safari web browsers in 2011 and 2012.

The New York Attorney General's office said Google Inc. altered coding from its DoubleClick advertising platform to circumvent default privacy settings on Safari without consumers' knowledge or consent. Altering the coding allowed Google to put DoubleClick cookies on Safari web browsers. Google disabled the coding in February 2012 after the practice was widely reported.

North Carolina will receive $427,854 from the settlement.

"People rely more and more on the Internet to communicate, find information and do business, so it’s critical that companies be straight with consumers when it comes to online privacy,” North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a statement.

Google also agreed Monday to injunctive relief that requires it to take certain actions, including improving the information it provides about cookies.

Google Inc. said the cookies collected no personal information and that it's pleased to have reached the settlement.


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