Google May Be Fined Millions by the FTC

The Federal Trade Commission is coming for Google.

That’s the latest insight from sources close to the matter, who say that the agency may fine Google upwards of ten million for allegedly skirting Safari privacy controls.

The source, who spoke with Bloomberg, wants to remain anonymous because he is not authorized to speak on the record about the matter.

The FTC is preparing to allege that Mountain View, California-based Google deceived consumers and violated terms of a consent decree signed with the commission last year when it planted so-called cookies on Safari, bypassing Apple software’s privacy settings, the person said.

Although ten million amounts to a substantial fine for any company, Google will survive. The world’s largest Internet search company, for example, saw first-quarter revenue of $8.14 billion.

But, regardless of the penalty’s severity, a substantial point is made by the fine.

“Google is quickly becoming the privacy problem child for regulators in the U.S. and Europe,” Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, tells Bloomberg. “The Commission’s work to enforce its consent decree with Google shows there’s a real regulatory cop on the digital beat.”