Nov 18 (Reuters) – Google Inc will pay $17 million to settle allegations by 37 states and the District of Columbia that it secretly tracked Web users by placing special digital files on the Web browsers of their smartphones.”

“The deal, announced Monday morning, ends a nearly two-year probe by the states into allegations that Google bypassed the privacy settings of customers using Apple Inc’s Safari Web browser by placing ‘cookies’ into the browser.”

“The Safari Web browser used on iPhones and iPads automatically blocks third-party cookies, but Google altered the computer code of its cookies and was able to circumvent the blocks between June 2011 and February 2012, according to the states’ allegations.”

$17 million dollars represents 0.0034% of Google’s total annual revenue.

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