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Digital espionage: Google pulls a fast one on iPhone

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Well if you think you are safe using your mobile phone and other devices on the internet, you may have to rethink it. Google has come under fire once again after allegations that it circumvented privacy protections built into the iPhone in order to track what users are doing online. A privacy researcher at Stanford University said Friday that the Internet search giant had made an end run around a privacy feature in Apple Inc.’s Safari browser, the default Web-surfing software for tens of millions of iPhone, iPad and Macintosh users.  Jonathan Mayer’s report could deal a serious blow to Google, which in October reached a settlement with federal regulators who had alleged that in the company’s 2010 attempt at social networking it used “deceptive tactics and violated its own privacy promises to consumers.” Google’s binding agreement with the Federal Trade Commission “bars the company from future privacy misrepresentations.” Now a group of federal legislators is asking if Google may have violated those terms by allowing advertisers to track Apple users’ online behavior even when those users believed such tracking was disabled. If Google is found to have violated its agreement with the FTC, the company could face fines of up to $16,000 per day for each violation. Google’s latest privacy stumble came at the end of a bumpy week for the tech industry’s best-known companies, with Apple, Twitter, Facebook and Path drawing criticism over the way the social media companies collect user address data from iPhones.]]>

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