Feeds

EPIC asks FTC to probe Google's search biz tweak

It's a sticky social situation

Boost IT visibility and business value

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), as expected, has now written to the US Federal Trade Commission requesting that the watchdog investigates Google's search business.

The move follows Mountain View's decision to merge personal data collected via its social network Google+ with the company's search engine, which so far has received a cool response from industry observers.

Indeed, the carefully constructed Chocolate Factory is starting to resemble a sweaty indoor confectionery market peddling cheap sweets to the masses.

“Google’s business practices raise concerns related to both competition and the implementation of the Commission’s consent order,” EPIC said, in reference to a recent privacy settlement Google reached with the FTC.

In the missive (PDF), the privacy group claimed that: "Google's changes implicate concerns over whether the company prioritises its own content when returning search results."

EPIC added: "Incorporating results from Google+ into ordinary search results allow Google to promote its own social network by leveraging its dominance in the search engine market."

It asked the FTC to widen its ongoing investigation into Google's biz practices to include the company's recent tweak to its search estate.

By default, Google is opting everyone who uses its search engine into receiving "personal" results.

It's a move that might grab the attention of the FTC as well as the antitrust arm of the European Commission, which is conducting a separate formal investigation into allegations that Google has abused its dominant position in online search by illegally favouring, or gaming, its own services.

Users who don't want to see "personal results" pop up in Google search can switch it off here. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.