U.S. regulators will require Google to pay a civil penalty of US$22.5 million to settle charges that it bypassed the privacy settings of customers using Apple’s Safari browser, reports “Reuters,” quoting two unnamed “people familiar with the matter.”

Members of the Federal Trade Commission voted to approve a consent decree that will allow Google to settle the agency’s investigation but admit no liability, the article adds. An official announcement is expected within days, according to the “Reuters” sources. You can read more at http://macte.ch/u9r55 .

A study released Feb. 17 by Jonathan Mayer of Stanford University’s Security Lab, and the Center for Internet and Society, found that Google has been circumventing a privacy setting in Apple’s Safari web browser. Like most web browsers, Safari provides the option not to receive third-party “cookies.” 

Cookies are small bits of code placed on the browser and can be used by ad networks to track you as you surf the web. Blocking third-party cookies is supposed to prevent such tracking. Safari is the primary browser on the iPhone and iPad. It is also the default browser on Apple’s computers. Read Jonathan Mayer’s study at http://webpolicy.org/2012/02/17/safari-trackers/ .