Feeds

Privacy warriors sue FTC over Google's policy tweak

Failure to halt imminent changes makes EPIC angry

Boost IT visibility and business value

The Electronic Privacy Information Center is suing the US Federal Trade Commission for failing to take action against Google's plans to change its terms of service on 1 March.

EPIC is concerned that the privacy policy revamp will be bad news for punters. As we've noted previously, a user of Gmail can shortly expect to be much more heavily tracked across other Mountain View sites while being logged into their Google account.

Here in Europe, the EU's Article Working 29 Group's effort to get Google to take a "pause" with tweaks to the company's privacy policy was politely ignored by the Chocolate Factory late last week.

And on the other side of the Atlantic, Google offered a detailed but at times still fuzzy response to a bunch of lawmakers seeking to better understand exactly what the policy overhaul to Google's vast online estate meant for its users.

Unlike data protection groups in Europe, the FTC hasn't asked Google to delay the heavily trailed changes to its terms of service.

Google insists the tweak is all about improved "user experience". Privacy activists counter that such a data-farming exercise has serious implications about the safeguarding of personal information online.

"EPIC alleges that this change in business practice is in clear violation of the consent order that Google entered into on October 13, 2011. The consent order arises from a complaint that EPIC brought to the Commission in February, 2010 concerning Google Buzz and a similar attempt by Google to combine user data without user consent," said the group in a statement on its website.

Google dismissed EPIC's claims.

"We take privacy very seriously," Google said. "We're happy to engage in constructive conversations about our updated privacy policy, but EPIC is wrong on the facts and the law."

The FTC could not immediately be reached for comment at time of writing. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms
Readers chat to the pair who flog the tech
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.
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.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.