updated 06:19 pm EDT, Fri May 4, 2012
Insider alleges Google may be fined millions by FTC
Google may be facing a fine potentially greater than $10 million for bypassing Safari privacy controls, according to an insider. The unnamed source, speaking to Bloomberg, alleged that Google is negotiating with the Federal Trade Commission over the actual value of the fine, which would be levied due to Google's violation of a consent degree signed last year.
The FTC claimed Google had been deceptive and violated its own policies relating to privacy when it introduced Google Buzz in 2010. The settlement forces Google to follow consumer data-protection policies in its products for a 20 year period. The Commission is said to have determined that the search giant breached the agreement by circumventing Safari's privacy controls to maintain +1 functionality.
The FTC can fine Google up to $16,000 per violation each day of the alleged offense, however the agency has yet to formally confirm the rumored fine. The company also faces investigations by several European regulators over the issue, which it claims was an unintended outcome.