FTC and Google have reached a proposed settlement and agreed on a payment
Google is close to sign a deal to pay $22.5m to settle the charges for bypassing the privacy settings of customers using Apple’s Safari browser.
The fine is expected to be the largest penalty ever handed out to a single company by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), The Wall Street Journal reported citing officials familiar to the settlement terms.
The case centers on a news in February regarding Google’s use of special computer code to trick Apple’s Safari Web-browser into letting it monitor users who had blocked the software from tracking them.
According to Google, tracking of Apple users was inadvertent and has not caused any harm to consumers, the report added.
In February this year a Stanford University researcher had published a study claiming that Google had exploited a loophole in Safari browser.
The tracking was said to be done through "cookies," that help Internet services and advertisers to offer marketing offers based on the analysis of the interests indicated by the users during Web surfing activity.
Google has already withdrawn the technology from Safari after the the reports came out.
Google spokeswoman told, "We have now changed that page and taken steps to remove the ad cookies, which collected no personal information, from Apple’s browsers."
The settlement is yet to be approved by FTC commissioners and could still be altered before it becomes public.