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Google supports US privacy law

If it stops stronger laws anyway

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Google, under fire recently for not being open enough about its own privacy policies, supports a wide-ranging federal bill protecting privacy.

The search giant believes federal action on the issue would reassure consumers.

In a letter to Congressman Joe Barton Google's chief lobbyist Alan Davidson said: "Google supports the adoption of a comprehensive federal privacy law that would accomplish several goals such as building consumer trust and protections; creating a uniform framework for privacy, which would create consistent levels of privacy from one jurisdiction to another; and putting penalties in place to punish and dissuade bad actors."

But privacy activists suggested that Google's push for a US-wide law might be a way to head off tougher state laws being passed, according to Reuters.

Last week activists complained that Google's homepage did not include a direct link to its privacy policy. Individual states would likely take a harder line and could get laws in place more quickly than getting nationwide agreement.

The way Google stores cookie information has been criticised in the US and Europe. The company has also been panned for too readily handing over user information to authorities in Brazil, China and India. ®

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