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Google to pony up $22.5 million in Safari settlement

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:29PM EST

Google is about to forfeit some of its allowance after getting caught with its hands in Safari’s cookie jar. The Wall Street Journal reports that Google and the Federal Trade Commission are close to finalizing a settlement where Google will pay $22.5 million for bypassing the security settings on Apple’s Safari browser to plant unwanted third-party tracking cookies.

The WSJ says that the settlement will be the “largest penalty ever levied” against one company, although it acknowledges that “the fine likely will represent only a tiny portion of Google’s revenues.” For comparison, WSJ notes that Google paid a whopping $500 million to settle Department of Justice allegations that it accepted advertisements for illegal sales of generic drugs.

Google’s cookie-planting antics were revealed this past February by Jonathan Mayer, a graduate student at Stanford who published research showing how Google used loopholes within Apple’s Safari browser cookie-blocking policy to place unexpected third-party cookies within the browser.


Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.