Feeds

EPIC asks FTC to probe Google's search biz tweak

It's a sticky social situation

The essential guide to IT transformation

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
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email
Court wanted peek as related to US investigation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.