Lawmakers target Google over privacy laws
Three congressmen on Friday called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Google Inc., after The Wall Street Journal reported that the Internet giant was bypassing privacy settings of people who used Apple Inc.’s Web browser on phones and computers.
The lawmakers—Edward J. Markey (D., Mass.), Joe Barton (R., Texas) and Cliff Stearns (R., Fla.)—want to know if Google’s behavior “constitutes a violation” of a privacy settlement Google and the Federal Trade Commission signed last year. Breaches of the settlement could bring fines of as much as $16,000 per violation per day.
“The FTC is aware of the situation,” an agency spokeswoman said. At least two consumer groups also asked the FTC to investigate Google’s behavior, which allowed the company to track Web-browsing habits of people using Safari browser software even if they intended for that kind of monitoring to be blocked.