It has recently been revealed that Google have been tracking the browsing habits of millions of people who use the iPhone device. The search engine company wrote a piece of code that was capable of circumventing the privacy settings on the iPhone device and it allowed Google to monitor the users habits just as they could if the user was using the mainstream Internet.
Since the revelation the company have moved away from this practice but they have highlighted that there was never any personal information attached to the browsing habits. The privacy settings on the iPhone device should make it impossible for companies to install cookies on the phone so that people’s web browsing can be monitored. However, Google developed a workaround technology to make this possible.
Apple has commented, “We are working to put a stop to this sort of circumvention and software should be able to deal with this sort of problem in the future.” The head of communications at Google has commented that the situation has been misunderstood. The Google official stated that no personal information about browsing habits was gathered so people’s privacy is completely maintained.
Safari is the only type of Internet browser available for the iPhone device and this means that cookies cannot be stored. This is different to other browsers that you would find on a desktop PC, such as Chrome or Internet Explorer. Microsoft released a comment about their desktop Internet browser saying that cookies are not tracked as the default setting to maximise people’s privacy.
It is possible for some companies to bypass the privacy settings on the Apple device through the use of third-party cookies such as the like button seen on Facebook. This allows Google to show users personalised ads which is a more profitable opportunity for them.