Feeds

EPIC asks FTC to probe Google's search biz tweak

It's a sticky social situation

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.