Having violated privacy laws by following Safari users with cookies, Google was hit with the largest civil penalty ever from the Federal Trade Commission.
Google placed tracking cookies for several months on people using Safari to click on Google's DoubClick ad network. That move cost the company a $22.5 million fine.
The FTC is holding up the fine as a lesson for all:
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"No matter how big or small, all companies must abide by FTC orders against them and keep their privacy promises to consumers, or they will end up paying many times what it would have cost to comply in the first place." -- Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the FTC in a statement
Google says it collected no personal data from users during this period.
The Department of Justice filed the proposed settlement and it will be decided in a San Jose court, according to ComputerWorld.