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Provider: Thomson Reuters Stock Report
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Google Inc To Pay $17 Million To Settle States' Safari Probe - Reuters

Monday, 18 Nov 2013 02:54pm EST 

Reuters reported that Google Inc will pay $17 million to settle allegations by 37 states and the District of Colombia that it secretly tracked Web users by placing special digital files on the Web browsers of their smartphones. The deal, announced November 18, 2013, ends a nearly two-year probe by the states into allegations that Google bypassed the privacy settings of customers using Apple Inc's Safari Web browser by placing cookies into the browser. Cookies are special files that allow websites and advertisers to identify individual Web surfers and track their browsing habits. The Safari Web browser used on iPhones and iPads automatically blocks third-party cookies, but Google altered the computer code of its cookies and was able to circumvent the blocks between June 2011 and February 2012, according to the states' allegations. Under the terms of deal, Google agreed not to use the type of code capable of overriding browser settings without user consent, unless for security, fraud or technical issues. It also agreed to provide consumers with more information about cookies for the next five years. 

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