Internet search giant Google could face a fine of over 10 million dollars for allegedly hacking Apple''s Safari browser to target users with ads, according to a report.
The company is currently negotiating with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over how much it will have to pay for the breach, the Washington Post reports.
The fine would be the first by the FTC for a violation of Internet privacy as the agency steps up enforcement of consumers'' online rights, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
According to a person familiar with the matter, the FTC is preparing to allege that Google deceived consumers and violated terms of a consent decree signed with the commission in 2011 when it planted so-called cookies on Safari, bypassing Apple software''s privacy settings.
The cookies allowed Google to bypass Safari''s built-in privacy protections to aim targeted advertising at users of Safari on computers, laptops, iPhones and iPads.
According to the paper, Google earlier said that it ‘didn''t anticipate this would happen’ and that it was removing the files since discovering the slip.
The Safari breach was first identified by Stanford researcher Jonathan Mayer.