Judge OKs FTC’s fine of Google
A federal judge has approved a $22.5 million fine to penalize Google for an alleged privacy breach.
In doing so, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston rejected a consumer rights group’s calls for tougher punishment. Illston issued her ruling late Friday, a few hours after holding a hearing to listen to final arguments.
The fine is part of a settlement reached three months ago between the Federal Trade Commission and Google Inc.
The rebuke resolves allegations that Google duped millions of Web surfers using the Safari browser into believing their online activities couldn’t be tracked by the company as long as they didn’t change the browser’s privacy settings.
The $22.5 million is the most that FTC has ever fined a company for a civil violation.
NTSB: Train was traveling under 70 mph speed limit
The National Transportation Safety Board says the train that crashed into a flatbed trailer carrying wounded veterans was traveling below the 70 mph speed limit.
Mark Rosekind with the NTSB said at a late Friday afternoon news conference that the Union Pacific train was going 62 mph in a 70 mph zone, based on track image recorders.
Four veterans were killed and 16 people were injured Thursday when the train struck the tractor-trailer that was towing the float.
Rosekind also said the train’s emergency brakes were applied before the accident, but it is unclear how close it was to the float when that happened.
The NTSB will test the signals for abnormalities today.
Justice official: Register voters automatically
One of the top enforcers of the nation’s civil rights laws said Friday government should be responsible for automatically registering citizens to vote by using existing databases to compile lists of all eligible residents in each jurisdiction.
The proposal by Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, chief of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, follows an election with breakdowns that forced voters in many states to wait in line for hours.
In remarks at George Washington University law school, Perez said census data show that of 75 million adult citizens who failed to vote in the 2008 presidential election, 60 million were not registered and therefore ineligible to cast a ballot.
Perez says one of the biggest barriers to voting in this country is an antiquated registration system.