Officials over at the US Federal Trade Commission have agreed to let Google pay a settlement for circumventing privacy settings with Safari, Apple's web browser. Unnamed sources have told Reuters that Google will be seen handing over $22.5 million to avoid further proceedings, but it will not be forced to admit liability.
Google were accused of implementing code that bypassed Safari's default security provisions in an attempt to enable Google+ users to take advantage of the social network's +1 button. Google, at first tried to argue that initial reports had mischaracterized the method, which was limited to signed-in users and associated with cookies that didn't take any personal information.
Critics have said that Google's strategy had allowed its own DoubleClick ad network to track user activity, all without providing any notification of doing so, but Google eventually disabled the function. This case marks the biggest single fine ever served by the FTC at $22.5 million, with the penalty believed to be comparatively high due to consent decree that Google agreed to last year, barring the company from misrepresenting its privacy practices to its users.