Reuters: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has imposed a $22.5 million fine on Google. The fine will close out an FTC investigation into allegations that Google used tracking cookies to bypass privacy settings on Apple’s Safari browser. That tracking violated the terms of an earlier settlement Google had negotiated with the agency. In the latest case, Google has not apologized or admitted to wrongdoing.
The $22.5 million fine is the largest the FTC has ever levied for violating an order. Still, some observers say it amounts to little more than a slap on the wrist for Google, which reported revenue of $12.21 billion in its most recent quarter. Consumer Watchdog’s John Simpson said, “The Commission has allowed Google to buy its way out of trouble for an amount that probably is less than the company spends on lunches for its employees and with no admission it did anything wrong.”