Google will have to pay up $22.5m, or £14m after a US Federal Judge approved a fine for the internet search giant for bypassing user privacy settings in Apple’s Safari web browser.

The company is accused of conning millions of Safari users into believing that their online activities could not be tracked as long as they didn't change their browser's default privacy settings, an assurance that was posted on the search engine's website earlier this year. In actual fact, Google placed pieces of code, known as cookies, to track a person’s web browsing so that relevant adverts could be displayed on the sites they visit.

Google has responded by saying they did not intentionally sidestep Safari’s default settings, and have now begun removing the advertising cookies. The company agreed to pay a £22.5m penalty back in August, with SU District Judge Susan Illston now giving that fine the green light. The penalty is the largest America’s Federal Trade Commission has ever levied against a single company.

Written and presented by Alfred Joyner