Google has agreed to pay a $22.5 million fine to settle allegations that it broke a privacy promise by secretly tracking the online activities of millions of people who use Apple’s Safari web browser.
Facebook is seeking to consolidate the more than 40 lawsuits it faces following its rocky initial public offering of stock last month.
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The FTC had charged that the social network told people they could keep the information they share private, then allowed it to be made public.
If the settlement is approved by FTC’s commissioners, it would require Facebook to get explicit consent from its 800 million users before changing its privacy settings, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Google has confirmed that federal regulators have begun a formal antitrust investigation into the company’s business practices.
A published report said federal regulators were preparing to issue subpoenas to Google and other companies as authorities gather information for a broad antitrust probe into the Internet search leader’s business practices.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center has announced plans to file a complaint with federal regulators over a Facebook feature that scans photographs and identifies users’ faces without their consent.
The debate over Internet privacy continued on Thursday in Washington as a House Subcommittee looked at the feasibility of a “Do Not Track” system, for web browsing.
Federal regulators are proposing the creation of a “Do Not Track” list for the Internet. It would allow people to prevent Internet marketers from tracking their Web browsing habits for targeted advertising.