Federal Lawyer Crows After Imposing
$22.5 Million Government Fine on Company

The Weekly Standard | August 9, 2012
By Daniel Halper

As the New York Times reports, "The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday fined Google $22.5 million to settle charges that it bypassed privacy settings in Apple’s Safari browser to show advertisements, and violated an earlier privacy settlement with the agency."

As one can imagine, the federal lawyer on this case was pleased to win this case. And it's historic: "The fine is the largest civil penalty ever levied by the commission, which has been cracking down on tech companies for privacy violations and is also investigating Google for antitrust violations," the Times reports.

But in fact imagination isn't necessary: The lawyer, Megan Gray, who just started working for the FTC, was so pleased to beat back Google that she sent an email to friends and colleagues to brag about her performance.

"I'm pleased to report that my new gig at the FTC has started with a bang," writes Gray.

This is also my roundabout way of letting folks know of my new position, since I did not previously have a chance to tell many people (suffice to say, I've had my nose to the grindstone since I started five months ago).  Upon my arrival, I was made first-chair trial counsel in the case against Google for privacy violations under the comprehensive Consent Order that became effective last year.  With a fantastic team working with me, we were able to obtain a $22,500,000 million settlement, the FTC's largest ever --- we officially announced the case and settlement today.  I will be continuing as lead enforcer on the Consent Order, but hopefully I will have a chance to come up for air now and resume a quasi-normal life.  I hope we have a chance to reconnect in the foreseeable future!

Gray concludes her email by giving friends and colleagues a personal email address to reach her, but, she says, "For sensitive work matters, phone is best." After all, one wouldn't want to leave a paper trail that the American public might otherwise find!

In a Facebook posting, Megan Gray (along with Megan Bartley) writes, "Google is paying with black eyes as well as greenbacks."