The U.S. Federal Trade Commission fined Google $22.5 million for violating the privacy of people who used Apple’s Safari web browser even after pledging not to do so.
The FTC said Google had agreed with the commission in October 2011 not to place tracking cookies on or deliver targeted ads to Safari users, but then went ahead and did so.
“For several months in 2011 and 2012, Google placed a certain advertising tracking cookie on the computers of Safari users who visited sites within Google’s DoubleClick advertising network,” the FTC said in a statement.
“Google had previously told these users they would automatically be opted out of such tracking.”
“No matter how big or small, all companies must abide by FTC orders against them and keep their privacy promises to consumers, or they will end up paying many times what it would have cost to comply in the first place,” said Jon Leibowitz, FTC chairman.