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Google Fined $22.5 Million for Invading Your Privacy

Biggest fine in FTC history

By Scott Budman
|  Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012  |  Updated 9:33 AM PDT
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Google Fined $22.5 Million for Invading Your Privacy

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As we now know, Google wants your data badly enough to get sneaky about it. We also now know that the search company is going to pay a hefty fine because of that sneakiness.

The Federal Trade Commission just threw down a $22.5 million fine against Google, after the Mountain View company was caught going around Apple's privacy settings to access contacts from your Apple device.

The fine itself is not a huge deal for Google - the company's stock price actually went up in early trading, despite the announcement.  It is, however, bouncing around Silicon Valley circles because of the size, and because the FTC clearly is trying to set a precedent when it comes to privacy invasions like this.

If the FTC is coming down hard on Google, the thinking seems to be, what happens when Facebook gets caught up in a privacy scandal?  What about Twitter, or a smaller company that would look at 22 million as real money?

If nothing else, the FTC seems to be saying, be careful while you watch others - because we're watching you.

Scott can be watched on Twitter: @scottbudman

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