Home  › Marketing › Strategies
Browser address bar with mouse cursor

ICO Investigating Google Over Browser Privacy Claims

  |  February 22, 2012   |  Comments

Data watchdog once again in discussions with search giant

The U.K. Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has confirmed it is in discussion with Google over claims that the firm bypassed privacy settings on both Internet Explorer (IE) and Safari browsers to log user activity.

The data watchdog said that it was talking with the search giant to ensure it was complying with all necessary data laws.

"We are aware of this issue and are continuing to make enquiries with Google to ensure that they comply with the Data Protection Act and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations," it said in a statement.

ClickZ sister site V3 contacted Google for comment but had received no reply at the time of publication.

The issue first came to light after a Stanford University researcher reported that the company was ignoring settings on Safari intended to block tracking tools.

Google refuted these accusations, but since then Microsoft has said the firm is also ignoring its security settings on its IE browser, again forcing Google to justify its actions.

The issue is particularly interesting from a UK and European perspective as it comes weeks before the so-called Cookie Law comes in to force in May, which will force firms to obtain the consent of users before deploying cookies on browsers.

Google has admitted in the past it is struggling to develop the best system possible to adhere to this law.

The incident is not the first time Google has had a run-in with the ICO either. Google was previously investigated over the collection of Wi-Fi data from private accounts by its Street View cars.

The browser privacy revelation has also been noticed by lawmakers in the U.S., where three Congressmen have sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission. The letter inquired whether the Safari cookie incident may have violated a 2011 privacy settlement between Google and the FTC relating to the company's now-defunct Buzz product.

This article was originally published on V3.

ClickZ Live New York What's New for 2015?
You spoke, we listened! ClickZ Live New York (Mar 30-Apr 1) is back with a brand new streamlined agenda. Don't miss the latest digital marketing tips, tricks and tools that will make you re-think your strategy and revolutionize your marketing campaigns. Super Saver Rates are available now. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

View Dan's Google+ profile

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Marketing newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

UPCOMING TRAINING

Featured White Papers

Google My Business Listings Demystified

Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
82 percent of shoppers say they would buy more items from a brand if the emails they sent were more personalized. This white paper offer five tactics that will personalize your email beyond the subject line and drive real business growth.

WEBINARS

    Information currently unavailable

Jobs

    • Lead Generation Specialist
      Lead Generation Specialist (The Oxford Club) - BaltimoreThe Oxford Club is seeking a talented writer/marketer to join our growing email lead-generation...
    • Health Marketing Editor
      Health Marketing Editor (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreCome flex your intellectual muscle as part of Agora, Inc’s (http://agora-inc.com/) legal team...
    • Technical Business Analyst
      Technical Business Analyst (OmniVista Health) - BaltimoreOmniVista Health is looking to add a Technical Business Analyst to our expanding team...