For bypassing the privacy settings of millions of Apple users, Google might be fined a record $22.5 million, the largest ever from the Federal Trade Commission.
In the case, graduate student Jonathan Mayer found that Google used hidden code to install a cookie for users of Apple's Safari browser that allowed the search giant to intentionally circumvent Safari's privacy features and track user's browsing habits for its DoubleClick advertising business, reports the Wall Street Journal.
At the time, Google said this was not intentional and that it removed the cookies from affected browsers.
The FTC launched its investigation into the issue in February. The record fine - still being finalized between the two sides - is calculated based on $16,000 per violation per day and takes into account millions of iPad, iPhone and Mac users of Apple’s Safari browser.
A Google official, in a statement earlier to PCWorld, said “The FTC is focused on a 2009 help center page published more than two years before our consent decree, and a year before Apple changed its cookie-handling policy. We have now changed that page and taken steps to remove the ad cookies, which collected no personal information, from Apple’s browsers."