Google under fire over users' privacy
Google Inc violated users' online privacy choices, according to a research study that prompted a consumer advocate group to ask the Federal Trade Commission to take action against the world's most popular search engine.
Using its DoubleClick ad network, Google has been dodging a privacy setting in Apple Inc's Safari, the primary Web browser on the iPhone and iPad, according to a study by Stanford University's Security Lab and the Center for Internet and Society released today.
The study named three other companies, Vibrant Media Inc, Media Innovation Group LLC and PointRoll Inc, that were also evading privacy settings.
"Apple's Safari Web browser is configured to block third-party cookies by default," Stanford graduate student Jonathan Mayer said in the study. "Google and Vibrant Media intentionally circumvent Safari's privacy feature."
Google has started removing the advertising cookies from Safari browsers, Rachel Whetstone, senior vice president of communications and public policy at Mountain View, California-based Google said.
"It's important to stress that, just as on other browsers, these advertising cookies do not collect personal information," Whetstone said.