Google officials have been sued for violating users’ privacy rights on Safari by bypassing computer settings designed to block monitoring of consumers’ online activity. Researchers at Stanford University says Google programmers developed codes that allowed them to avoid privacy settings created by their rivals at Apple, reports “Bloomberg Businessweek” (

Google has been dodging privacy settings in Safari, which serves as the primary Web browser on Apple’s iPhone and iPad products, lawyers for an Illinois man who uses the Safari browser said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in Delaware.

“Google’s willful and knowing actions violated” federal wiretapping laws and other computer-related statutes, attorneys for Matthew Soble said in the complaint. “Bloomberg Businessweek” adds that Google’s actions also prompted Consumer Watchdog to send a letter to the FTC today demanding action against the Internet- search provider.

“Safari users with the browser set to block third-party cookies thought they were not being tracked,” John Simpson, privacy project director of Consumer Watchdog, said in the letter. “Nonetheless, because of an element invisible to the user, but designed to mimic a form, DoubleClick was able to set tracking cookies in an obvious violation of the set preference.”