updated 11:25 am EDT, Tue April 17, 2012
Commission may propose fine
The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly considering a fine in its purported investigation over Google's alleged circumvention of Safari privacy controls. Although the Commission has yet to formally disclose an investigation, unnamed sources have told MercuryNews the agency may demand a fine much higher than the $25,000 FCC penalty the search giant faces over the Street View Wi-Fi debacle.
Google has been accused of deceptively bypassing Safari's security settings to maintain certain features, such as +1 functionality, even when a user had manually disabled cookies. The company skirted questions regarding the investigations, however it removed the controversial cookies and claimed the observed behavior was unintentional.
Earlier leaks suggested the FTC has been attempting to gauge the number of affected users, fueling speculation of a large fine. The Commission is said to be working to determine if the company violated a 2010 settlement over its Buzz social network. Such violation could carry fines of up to $16,000 per violation for each day of the alleged offense.
The company is said to be under investigation by several other US agencies, as well as European regulators.