FTC bars advertiser from collecting users' browsing histories

In its privacy policy, Epic promised to only collect information about the sites that users visited within its network. But according to the FTC, the history sniffing technology allowed Epic to determine other sites that users had visited outside of its network.

The FTC accused Epic of engaging in a deceptive business practice.

"Consumers searching the Internet shouldn’t have to worry about whether someone is going to go sniffing through the sensitive, personal details of their browsing history without their knowledge,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a statement. “This type of unscrupulous behavior undermines consumers’ confidence, and we won’t tolerate it.”

Epic is a large advertising firm with a presence on 45,000 websites, according to the FTC.

The settlement bars Epic from using the history sniffing technology in the future and requires the firm to delete the information it collected.