Saturday01 April 2023

EPIC now suing the FTC over Google Privacy Policy Changes

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GoogleIt looks like Google is having more problems today that just a security issue with Google Wallet. EPIC (the Electronic Privacy Information Center) has filed suit against the Federal Trade Commission in order to force them to stop Google’s planned policy changes that will go into effect on March 1st.

Not all that long ago Google sent out a mailer that they were combining the privacy policies for all of their services under one blanket policy. Now this might not sound like too bad of an idea and we would have agreed with you until we read some of the details. Google also wants to treat a single user as an entity across all of their platforms. This would allow them to share user data between web services and we all know that Google is not the best at keeping their user data secure.  

About a year ago Google got into trouble after they exposed users Gmail contacts over Google Buzz without the users’ permission.  EPIC filed suit against them then and Google had to enter into an agreement that stated they would receive user consent before sharing their information with third parties.

EPIC is using the consent agreement that Google signed with the FTC as their central argument. They say that combining all of the privacy agreements under one blanket and allowing user data to be shared between Google services is a violation of this agreement.

Google says that if users do not want to consent to the agreement they can still use services like their Search, YouTube, and Google Maps. However, Google is becoming increasingly proprietary with its services and is obviously overlooking the fact that you have to have a Gmail account to setup any smart phone that uses Android (if you want to use the Market Place) we have tried on a number of occasions to associate a third party email with this service and have not been able to on any Android phone. This essentially forces Android users to comply with Google new policy if they want to continue to use their phones and enjoy the Android Market.

As of this writing neither the FTC nor Google appear to be doing anything about the suit. We are sure that EPIC will not be sitting around waiting and will put pressure for a ruling on this. If EPIC has its way Google will not be allowed to make any of these changes and will have to maintain individual policies for each service used.


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Last modified on Thursday, 09 February 2012 13:20

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