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More Government Probes Coming for Google

States, federal government, foreign entities investigate company

Friday, March 16, 2012
More Government Probes Coming for GoogleGoogle's recent changes to its overarching privacy policy have been the subject of much debate and consternation in recent months, but a different practice has led the company to face numerous probes from regulators.

Agencies both within the U.S. and abroad are now looking into Google's attempts to bypass the privacy settings in Apple's Safari browser, which could lead to years of legal trouble for the Web giant, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. The practice was first discovered by the Journal in February, and Google immediately halted it when contacted.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission and a group of attorneys general are each investigating these allegations, as is France's Commission Nationale de l'Infomatique et des Libertés, the report said.

"We will of course cooperate with any officials who have questions," a Google spokeswoman told the newspaper. "But it's important to remember that we didn't anticipate this would happen, and we have been removing these advertising cookies from Safari browsers."

Eduard Goodman, the chief privacy officer for Identity Theft 911, has a blog about the privacy issues consumers face when using Google services, among other issues.

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