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Fri Mar 16, 2012, 06:46 AM

Google in New Privacy Probes (In U.S. and Europe)

Source: Wall Street Journal

Regulators in the U.S. and European Union are investigating Google Inc. for bypassing the privacy settings of millions of users of Apple Inc.'s Safari Web browser, according to people familiar with the investigations. Google stopped the practice last month after being contacted by The Wall Street Journal.

The investigations—which span U.S. federal and state agencies, as well as a pan-European effort led by France—could embroil Google in years of legal battles and result in hefty fines for privacy violations. The Journal in February reported that Google was using special computer code to install tiny tracking files, or "cookies," on some people's computers, iPhones and iPads, even if the devices were set to block this kind of tracking.

"We will of course cooperate with any officials who have questions," a Google spokeswoman said. "But it's important to remember that we didn't anticipate this would happen, and we have been removing these advertising cookies from Safari browsers."

In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission is examining whether Google's actions violated last year's legal settlement with the government in which Google pledged not to "misrepresent" its privacy practices to consumers, according to people familiar with the investigation.


Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304692804577283821586827892.html

8 replies, 2005 views

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Reply Google in New Privacy Probes (In U.S. and Europe) (Original post)
onehandle Mar 2012 OP
madokie Mar 2012 #1
SHRED Mar 2012 #2
madokie Mar 2012 #4
Jackpine Radical Mar 2012 #5
madokie Mar 2012 #8
AllyCat Mar 2012 #3
dixiegrrrrl Mar 2012 #6
saras Mar 2012 #7

Response to onehandle (Original post)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 07:24 AM

1. I wonder who else they are doing this too

I think I'm blocking google from setting a cookie on my computer by using the exceptions tab under privacy in firefox but I'm not so sure that is the case anymore.
They just built a new data center up the road a couple miles from here and I know several of the people who worked on building it and they all said the same thing, those people are paranoid for some reason. Everyone had to sign a form stating that they will not disclose anything they see or do there. For the most part no one that I know is talking either under threat of being sued if they do. A few things they allowed like admitting that the person actually worked there but not much else.
f**k google
I use startpage and Ixquick for a search engine now. Mapquest for my mapping needs and guess what mapquest gives better directions as so far they've not steered me wrong and I can't say that for google when I was using their mapping for directions. They left me having to call to find where I was needing to be on more than one occasion.
Did I say F**k google? Yes I did and Yes I mean that.

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Response to SHRED (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 09:40 AM

4. Thanks

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Response to madokie (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 10:34 AM

5. Uh…I spose using Chrome isn't exactly a solution…

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 02:54 PM

8. I wouldn't think it would be now

I never tried it due to my worry about privacy.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 09:05 AM

3. I started using Startpage a few months ago after reading a post here

Also added some extensions to FF that supposedly stop their tracking, but who knows. I know that I cannot use Target's website AT ALL if I have Ghostery running. Also using FB disconnect.

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Response to AllyCat (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 10:50 AM

6. aha...you might have helped me.

I use Ghostery and have trouble accessing some pages now, in FireFox.
Hmmm

but, I also have Opera browser and use that for pages that I have trouble with in FF.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 11:26 AM

7. It's a war. There's no single magic gun that's going to win it.

 

Firefox used to have a cookie editor. I don't care if they leave cookies on my computer, as long as I can make them say whatever I want to.

It got bought by Abine.com, a security company, who provide other services, and isn't free any more

They also have this fascinating story of a lawsuit against a particularly invasive data collector.

http://www.abine.com/wordpress/2012/when-delete-means-delete-the-inside-story-of-our-ftc-complaint-against-beenverified-com/

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