Google cookies ‘bypassed Safari’

Google has been accused, and later admitted, that they bypassed the security settings of many users that chose to use the Safari web browser.  The company used a loophole in the security setting to get around privacy settings that users thought would protect them from cookies.

Cookies are the small text files that browsers automatically store if the privacy settings are not on that record information about which sites are visited and in some cases are needed to access online services.  Although Google admitted that this happened, they say that the story manipulates the actual scenario quite a bit.

Advertisers often use cookies as a way to track browsers online activity so that they can target internet users with commercials and ads.  Due to this fact many believe that cookies are an invasion of online privacy and this coming May the EU will set laws in motion that will prevent advertisers from using cookies covertly.

Apple created the Safari browser that is found on the iPhone.  The browser is set up to only allow cookies to be stored from the web page that a user is actually on and not from advertisers or other third parties.

However, Jonathan Mayer, a Stanford University researcher, discovered that advertisers could store cookies via a loophole in the browser security settings. Google services often use cookies to help keep users signed in but more importantly to help them tailor their ads to meet a user’s interests.

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Tags: Google cookies ‘bypassed Safari’, Jonathan Mayer, Safari web browser

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