Following up on their recent "well, okay, we might be evil" activities, the kings of search keep reaching for more, even more.
Last week, it came out that Google has been bypassing privacy settings in Safari, and installing cookies to track the browsing habits of millions of users who didn't know about the tracking. Now Google is being sued and could be on the hook for millions.
Businessweek reports that a class-action complaint has been filed against Google in US District Court. The complaint alleges that the company willfully violated the Federal Wiretap Act. The legislation explicitly prohibits companies from monitoring communications without permission. If Google is found guilty, it's guilty millions of times over. In previous statements the company has said that the offending cookies were being used by accident and disabled the code that installed them in Safari. So far, Google hasn't commented on the suit itself.
It gets worse. Microsoft claims that Google slammed them up against a wall and fondled them like Google was Too $hort and Microsoft was a teenaged girl.
"We've found that Google bypasses the P3P Privacy Protection feature in IE," Dean Hachamovitch, corporate vice president of Internet Explorer, wrote in a Feb. 20 posting on the corporate Internet Explorer Blog. "The result is similar to the recent reports of Google's circumvention of privacy protections in Apple's Safari Web browser, even though the actual bypass mechanism Google uses is different."
Hachamovitch then used the incident as a way to pump Internet Explorer 9, claiming its Tracking Protection feature is immune to the type of bypass allegedly attempted by Google. "Given this real-world behavior, we are investigating what additional changes to make to our products," he added.
Google has pushed back against the claim, telling CNN in an emailed statement that the P3P feature is "impractical" to service "while providing modern Web functionality."
Your browser may not be the safe haven you thought it was, and as far as Google goes, perhaps no one site should have all that power …