Is Google Tracking the Online Activities of Safari Users?
Recently, people were shocked about the news which came out stating that Google was tracking the online activities of iPhone and iPad users. According to The Wall Street Journal, this act by Google was identified by an independent researcher.
According to their discoveries, Google actually implanted different secret software on websites which were created to get around the default settings of the browser. All of these tricks aimed to simply acquire the user’s behavior.
In detail, Apple products like the iPhone and the iPad use Safari as its default web browser. Google created software that can manipulate the operation of Safari with respect to how it allows cookies.
What are Cookies?
- Cookies are those little packs of data that are stored on your computer or mobile device which can later be retrieved when you decide to revisit websites like Facebook and twitter in the future.
- Cookies are responsible for quick reloading of a page that you have visited before.
- Cookies are also what advertisers use to track user’s behavior. Since they know what you search for in a website, the advertisers will be able to customize an ad page for you which cater to your interests.
There are settings in a web browser that can prevent advertisers from tracking your activities. Safari, for example, blocks all cookies that are coming from third parties. But Google was caught using a hidden software that can actually allow them to store cookies into the computer or mobile unit of the user even if Safari does not allow it.
The Truth Behind the Story
- Many people may ask why Google would do such a thing. Well, the answer is actually very simple, if Google can store cookies into the devices of Apple users, Google will easily be able to track down the activities of those users and in turn, they can tailor specific advertisements to them.
- It is already a fact that Google is an online dynasty. Aside from Google Places, Google Plus, Google Music and more, Google was also able to acquire different advertising services like DoubleClick.
Unfortunately, Safari does not allow DoubleClick to provide ads to the users because it sees it as third party. Safari will only allow this to occur if the user will fill out a form.
Google formulated a software that serves as an approval form to Safari allowing them to save cookies. According to Google, this was just an accident and the software was not made to track Apple users’ activities. Google also released a statement that they are now removing the cookies from those browsers.