Fresh off its pitiful $US25,000 fine over collecting private Wi-Fi information with its Street View cars, Google is the target of a new investigation. This time, it’s because Google was found to be bypassing security settings to store cookies on unwilling mobile Safari users’ phones.
Google basically stonewalled the US Federal Communications Commission’s inquiry over the Street View fiasco, claiming total ignorance and promising it hadn’t used any of the data in its products. But that defence probably won’t work a second time, because any cookies that were stored would by default factor into its search algorithm. And with this specific investigation, the results could be significant for Google, because each user that was affected — potentially millions — could count as a violation.
The investigation is ongoing, but apparently word on a decision could come within 30 days. The US Federal Trade Commision will want to make something stick, especially after the FCC was only able to pin down obstruction of justice, so expect to hear more about this whenever the hammer falls. [Mercury News]