WestVirginiaRebel Posted February 19, 2012 Share Posted February 19, 2012 Fox News: WASHINGTON – Three congressmen on Friday called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Google Inc., after The Wall Street Journal reported that the Internet giant was bypassing privacy settings of people who used Apple Inc.'s Web browser on phones and computers. The lawmakers—Edward J. Markey (D., Mass.), Joe Barton (R., Texas) and Cliff Stearns (R., Fla.)—want to know if Google's behavior "constitutes a violation" of a privacy settlement Google and the Federal Trade Commission signed last year. Breaches of the settlement could bring fines of as much as $16,000 per violation per day. "The FTC is aware of the situation," an agency spokeswoman said. At least two consumer groups also asked the FTC to investigate Google's behavior, which allowed the company to track Web-browsing habits of people using Safari browser software even if they intended for that kind of monitoring to be blocked. At the heart of the complaints is the fact that, until recently, a page on Google's site told Safari users they could rely on the browser's settings to prevent tracking by Google. Among other things, the FTC settlement barred the company from misrepresenting its privacy practices to users. "Google falsely told Safari users that they could control the collection of data…when in fact Google was circumventing the preference," wrote John Simpson, the privacy-project director with the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog. Another advocacy group, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, also made similar charges. Google said it has stopped its practices and deleted the associated tracking files, after being contacted by the Journal. "We are taking immediate steps to address their concerns," a Google spokesman said of the congressmen's letter. "We are happy to answer any questions regulators and others may have," the Google spokesman said. ________ You weren't paranoid; they really were watching you. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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