If you’re an iPhone or iPad user, the recent revelations about Google tracking your Safari browser usage may leave you feeling a little violated.
Google is currently under scrutiny for ‘tricking’ the Safari browser into divulging your internet usage, which allows Google to target ads at your device; despite the browser’s default privacy settings.
4.3% of internet users use Safari as their default browser, and a huge portion of these users are iPhone and iPad users. With the world still enthralled with Apple’s technology, this number is only set to rise.
So how did Google respond to this?
It was an accident, of course. Rachel Whetstone, Google’s VP of communications and public policy said:
“The Journal mischaracterizes what happened and why. We used known Safari functionality to provide features that signed-in Google users had enabled. It’s important to stress that these advertising cookies do not collect personal information.”
Even if the cookies aren’t collecting personal information, there is still a huge violation of trust. If you’re using a browser which, by default, does not allow cookies from third party sites to track users, then that’s exactly what you expect to happen. Right?
How did this blunder happen?
Some cookies are allowed by Safari, and they mostly relate to social media sites. If you’ve ever visited a website using Safari and hit the ‘like’ button which links to Facebook, there’s a cookie involved which stores your Facebook information to make this action easier.
Google has now started to remove these advertising cookies from Safari browsers and assured users that no personal information was stored.
How do you feel about this recent revelation?