Are Google tracking you? The search giant stands accused of tracking iPhone users online activity by frog leaping Apple security settings.
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That according to Stanford researcher, Jonathan Mayer, who uncovered Google secret tracking code, known as cookies, which effectively disables Apple’s Safari browser security settings, designed to prevent unauthorised tracking of this sort.
Mayer, conducted a test of most popular 100 US websites including about.com, youtube and tmz.com to investigate how far Google cookies had spread via its ad displays, which appear right across the web.
Mayer told Wall Street Journal that up to 23 out of 100 sites installed the cookies on an iPhone, however “once the coding was activated, it could enable Google tracking across the vast majority of websites,” meaning it spreads like cancer through the web.
Google pulled the coding as soon as it was contacted by WSJ, according to the report.
This major trust breach comes at a time when Facebook, Apple and Google have recently been under scrutiny from antitrust regulators, accused of tracking users in the case of Apple or compromising user details a la Facebook.
Apple said it was “working to put a stop” to the situation.
However, the search giant vehemently denies any compromise took place and insisted the cookies do not collect personal data:
“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.”