The company circumvented Apple Safari's privacy protections so it could promote its "+1" system and make its advertisements more relevant.
Then it used this Safari workaround to drop cookies on users' computers for its advertising clients, which is exactly the sort of behavior that Apple's privacy settings were supposed to prevent.
It trashed the Wall Street Journal for "mischaracterizing" what it had done and then issued a long statement explaining its view of the truth.
If Google's statement had been completely forthright, some readers might have sympathized with Google's frustration with the Wall Street Journal. After all, Google does not appear to have hacked Safari with the intention of secretly "tracking" iPhone users, as the WSJ suggested. In fact, Google hacked Safari so it could enable its "+1" system to work in Google advertisements.