Google's Safari privacy penalty set to be FTC's largest fine yet

But pretty much small change for El Goog

TODO alt text

Google is set to pay around $22.5 million (£14.5m) for working around Safari's security settings to track users.

The fine is to be issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US with the settlement being finalised as we speak, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The paper also reports that it will represent the "largest penalty ever levied" by the FTC, although we're sure Google's vaults full of cash won't be left too barren after it coughs up the fine.

Lend us a fiver, FTC?

Google was accused of deliberately monitoring Safari-browsing Google users using cookies, even after they had blocked such tracking.

The company maintains that the tracking was unintentional and that it has "now changed that page and taken steps to remove the ad cookie".

There's no word on whether Facebook and other ad networks are also going to be hit with a megafine after they were found using the same cookie-based workaround in Safari browsers.

It's not the first time Google has found itself in hot water over privacy concerns. Microsoft accused the search giant of similar shady practices in IE (although Google smacked it down pretty effectively at the time) and elsewhere, the company has come under scrutiny for changing its privacy policy so that it covered all Google products at once.

And all that's before we even start on Google Buzz, Streetview… we could go on.

From Wall Street Journal (£S)