Google circumvents Safari privacy settings to push code and track iOS users

Google has been using a special computer code to clearly trick Apple’s Safari web browser, into letting it track the browsing and internet usage of its users, in spite of such tracking being blocked on Safari by default!

Google along with other advertising companies were found bypassing these default privacy settings of millions of iPad, iPhone and other users, who use Safari to browse the Internet.

The technique reaches far beyond those websites, however, because once the coding was activated, it could enable Google tracking across the vast majority of websites, reports WSJ. In Google’s case, the code was part of a Google feature that allows its “+1” button to be embedded in advertisements. To push this code onto Safari users, Google’s ads used something called an “iframe,” an invisible container that allows content from one website to be embedded within another site.

Google however immediately disabled its code after this story broke out and after being contacted by WSJ.

Strangely, it was only until recently, that on another site, Google assured Safari users that they could rely on Safari’s default privacy settings to prevent tracking by Google. But unfortunately as is well know, Google says one thing but does something else. Google has now removed that language from the site Tuesday night.

An Apple official said: “We are working to put a stop” to the circumvention of Safari privacy settings.

Google has already been facing a lot of flak for the recent chenges it made to its Privacy Policy – now this is sure to raise the hackles of many others. This disclosure by WSJ is also sure to shock the user of iPhone, iPad and all the Safari users, who thought that their default privacy settings of their browser was good enough to keep them safe from the prying eyes of some internet companies – but unfortunately that was not to be!

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com and a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows for the period 2006-16. He enjoys following and reporting Microsoft news and developments in the world of Personal Computing & Social Media.