Google has responded to a lawsuit where they were said to be tracking Safari users by bypassing their privacy settings. Google both apologized and paid $22.5 million in fines and said it was a “technical error”.
Google has now filed an offical motion to dismiss that lawsuit, saying that the plaintiffs claims “lack standing” and said that they suffered no injury over the tracking and that Google never received any information from the Safari-tracking.
Google said this in their filing:
In 2011, Google developed a feature to enable ads that, with users’ consent, were tai-lored to the social connections of users of its Google+ social networking service. This feature,launched in October 2011, enabled logged-in Google+ users to highlight Google ads that they liked. Google’s goal was to implement this personalization in aprivacy and security sensitive manner. Key to Google’s design was the development of a newcookie (the “Intermediary Cookie”) that allowed its distinct account and advertising systems tointeract without commingling personal and anonymous data. The Intermediary Cookie served as an encrypted and temporary intermediary between a user’sGoogle account (which may contain personal information) and the Google advertising network (which uses anonymous Browser-Generated Information). The purpose of the IntermediaryCookie is to identify if a browser is signed into a Google account, but to do so in a way thatdoes not compromise the anonymity of the advertising data. The Interme-diary Cookie collects no personal information, is not used to correlate Browser-Generated In-
6formation, and is placed from the doubleclick.net domain (the same domain from which theDoubleClick ID Cookie is set).
So this case, which we assumed was mostly put to rest when Google paid the fine and said sorry is now back open. We don’t know when the judge will give a ruling, but we will tell you straight away when any news comes from our sources about this story.