Feeds

Privacy warriors sue FTC over Google's policy tweak

Failure to halt imminent changes makes EPIC angry

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

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. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
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.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.