Google agrees to record $22.5M fine on privacy

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(AP) – Google is paying a record $22.5 million fine to settle allegations that it broke a privacy promise by secretly tracking millions of Web surfers who use Apple’s Safari browser.

The penalty announced Thursday by the Federal Trade Commission matches the figure that The Associated Press and other media outlets had reported last month. It’s the largest fine that the FTC has imposed against a company for violating a previous agreement with the agency.

To settle a previous case, Google had signed a 20-year agreement that, among other things, included a company pledge not to mislead consumers about its privacy practices. Google Inc. isn’t admitting any wrongdoing.

The FTC opened its investigation after a researcher at Stanford University revealed that Google had overridden Safari privacy settings.

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