Google is to be fined $22.5m by the US Federal Trade Commission for bypassing Safari’s privacy settings.

The FTC approved a consent decree, which means Google can settle without admitting liability.

Google has said the tracking was inadvertent and that it collected no personal information like names, addresses or credit card data, reports Reuters.

The settlement is said to be the largest in FTC history.

The European Union is also investigating Google to see if it complies with Europe's privacy laws. The EU is also investigating whether Google is manipulating search results to favour its own products, notes Reuters.

The FTC probe was kicked of after a Wall Street Journal investigation claimed that Google and other ad networks were bypassing Safari’s privacy settings by implementing code that misrepresented their ads as user form submissions.

The investigation took six months.

Vibrant Media, Media Innovation Group and Gannett PointRoll also reportedly used the workaround, notes Apple Insider.

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