Coding for Google’s “+1″ button in advertisements placed tracking cookies in Safari browsers across all platforms when users clicked the social media marketing site’s button, The Wall Street Journal reported. Safari browsers generally do not allow tracking cookies from third-party advertisers, but Google’s “+1″ buttons in ads contained a bit of workaround code that will have allowed it get around the Safari block, tricking the Apple browser into letting it place tracking cookies. These cookies have the potential to keep and track Web viewing history.
Google’s bypass of Apple’s security took advantage of an unintentional loophole, Google says, nevertheless the incident raises worry about the world wide web giant’s care about user privacy, and the ability of security settings to take care of other platforms.
This is the latest privacy concern to plague Google’s image, after changes to the policy raised questions on its data collecting without user consent. As Google ramps up its offerings, like Google+, to contend with Facebook, the company will more than likely still focus on how these facilities exist within established platforms with their own privacy settings and policies.
Stanford researcher Jonathan Mayer discovered the loophole, allowing keeping cookies following your Safari user interacts with the ad. Once the Wall Street Journal contacted Google concerning the tracking concerns, it responded by saying they weren’t alert to it. An announcement from Google says it designed the “+1″ feature to have interaction with existing Safari functionality, in spite of the browser’s automatic block on third-party cookies.
“However, the Safari browser contained functionality that then enabled other Google advertising cookies being set around the browser,” as outlined by a statement from Google’s spokeswoman Rachel Whetsone. “We didn’t anticipate until this would happen, and we have started removing these advertising cookies from Safari browsers. It’s important to stress that, just as on other browsers, these advertising cookies do not collect personal information.”
Google asserts it absolutely was a reputable mistake, nonetheless it comes at a time when headlines are abuzz with Google security flaws. Send out mobile division is combating Android malware with new software after security breaches resulted in a $1 million loss for Android users hacked through malware-laced Market apps.
Some question Apple’s own wrinkles in security, but Safari can be a top browser choice for users who wish to block third-party cookies by default. Since security flaw in this case enabled itself when triggered from users logged into Google+, Apple’s challenge is ensuring being able to keep its browser functionality consistent despite interaction to platforms.
Google disabled the code after it surfaced, however the possibility of tracking through advertisements is within Google’s capabilities as being a multi-platform service. The Google flaw underscores that before industry can get an improved handle on these kind of problems, users should remain cautious trusting privacy settings that may not accommodate technologies since they develop, leaving them vulnerable to unwanted data collection.