Internet giant Google has agreed on a $22.5 million fine to settle charges that it violated the default privacy norms of Apple's web browser, Safari, according to US Federal regulators.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had charged the company with misleding Safari users by saying that it would not place tracking ''cookies'' or serve targeted ads to users, which violated an earlier privacy settlement between the company and the FTC.
The settlement comes as part of the FTC's ongoing efforts to ensure companies lived up to the privacy promises they made to consumers. It is also the largest penalty the agency has ever charged for violation of a Commission order.
Apart from the civil penalty, the order also requires Google to disable all the tracking cookies it had said would not be placed on users' computers.
According to Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the FTC, the record penalty in the matter sent a clear message to all companies under an FTC privacy order.
The FTC charged that for several months in 2011 and 2012, the internet search company placed a certain advertising tracking cookie on the computers of Safari users who visited sites within Google's DoubleClick advertising network.