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Lawmakers Call For Probe Into Google/Safari Scandal

Three lawmakers have written a letter to the Federal Trade Commission calling for an investigation of Google's tracking cookies in Apple's Safari web browser program. The congressmen believe the move may be a violation of a privacy settlement reached between Google and the FTC last year.

In the letter, Representatives Edward Markey and Joe Barton (co-chairmen of the Bi-partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus) and Cliff Sterns (chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations) drew the FTC's attention to a Stanford University report that was released recently, in which Google and others were accused of working around privacy settings without consent.

The lawmakers noted: "Google's practices could have a wide sweeping impact because Safari is a major Web browser used by millions of Americans."

Earlier this week, a Stanford University graduate student, Jonathan Mayer, released a report that accused Google and three other ad networks of side-stepping the privacy settings on Apple's Safari browser to track usage on iPhones and Macs without permission.

Google responded that the report "mischaracterizes" their work, despite the company's knowledge that an accidental glitch allows for Google cookies to be set on Safari.

Media reports on the scandal have quoted an FTC spokesperson, who noted the organization was aware of the situation.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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