Opposition to Google's Safari privacy settlement to be heard next month

A San Francisco court will hear arguments against the Google-FTC settlement in November

A San Francisco court will hear arguments next month against a proposed US$22.5 million privacy settlement between Google and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, over Google's use of cookies to track the Web movements of users running Apple's Safari browser.

The settlement, the largest ever secured by the FTC for violating one of its orders, was announced in August but quickly drew criticism from privacy advocates. They complained the terms are too soft on Google and that the fine -- a fraction of the $38 billion Google recorded in 2011 revenue -- amounts to a slap on the wrist.

While the FTC and Google came up with the settlement, it needs to be approved by a judge, which is what next month's hearing is about. Consumer Watchdog, an advocacy group that has been critical of Google's privacy measures, will argue that the court should not sign off on the deal.

Among the group's complaints: that the deal allows Google to deny any wrongdoing, that it won't prevent it from doing the same thing again, and that it requires Google to destroy only the cookies and not the information gained from the tracking, said John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog's Privacy Project director.

The group will be represented by Silicon Valley antitrust lawyer Gary Reback, whose work influenced the U.S. Department of Justice when it decided to sue Microsoft in the late 1990s in a landmark antitrust case.

The hearing will take place Nov. 16 at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags governmentsecurityprivacyregulationinternetGooglesearch enginesConsumer Watchdog

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments



Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?