Google will pay US$17 million to 37 US states and the District of Columbia to settle claims it violated consumer privacy by placing unauthorised cookies on computers using certain Apple Safari web browsers in 2011 and last year.
The New York Attorney General’s office said Google altered coding from its DoubleClick advertising platform to circumvent default privacy settings on Safari without consumers’ knowledge or consent.
Altering the coding allowed Google to put DoubleClick cookies on Safari web browsers. Google disabled the coding in February last year after the practice was widely reported.
Google also agreed Monday to injunctive relief that requires it to take certain actions, including improving the information it provides about cookies.
The internet giant said the cookies collected no personal information and that it was pleased to have reached the settlement.