The fine could amount to more than $10 million dollars, said the person, who declined to be identified because the talks are confidential. The fine would be the first by the FTC for a violation of Internet privacy as the agency steps up enforcement of the Web.
The FTC is preparing to allege that Mountain View, California-based Google deceived consumers and violated terms of a consent decree signed with the commission last year when it planted so-called cookies on Safari, bypassing Apple software's privacy settings, the person said.
"We used known Safari functionality to provide features that signed-in Google users had enabled," Google said. "We created a temporary communication link between Safari browsers and Google's servers, so that we could ascertain whether Safari users were also signed into Google, and had opted for personalized ads and other content. However, the Safari browser contained functionality that then enabled other Google advertising cookies to be set on the browser."