FTC Calls Google’s New Privacy Policy Brutal

    February 28, 2012

Google’s new privacy policy goes into effect on March 1st, and watchdog groups like EPIC have been trying to prompt the Federal Trade Commission to take a deeper look into all the changes. Still, the FTC is allowing Google to move forward, though FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz calls the the new privacy policy “brutal.”

In a statement given during an interview on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers, Leibowitz stated, “it’s a fairly binary and somewhat brutal choice that they (Google) are giving consumers. I think I can’t say much more. But we’re aware.” While Leibowitz agrees that while Google seeks to streamline the user experience by linking user accounts over all Google products, and will make all the new policies easy to read, his choice of words during the interview suggests some reluctance in regards to Google’s implementation of the changes.

And Leibowitz’s isn’t the only voice of concern. Aforementioned watchdog groups like Epic are not very excited – they recently had this to say on the FTC’s stance on Google’s impending changes – “if the government is unaware that Google plans to make a substantial change in its business practices on March 1, 2012, it should turn on a computer connected to the Internet.” And last week, 37 state attorneys general sent a letter to Google CEO Larry Page, demanding some sort of promise that the policy won’t compromise consumer privacy.

Google’s response to all of the intrigue has been “our updated Privacy Policy will make our privacy practices easier to understand, and it reflects our desire to create a seamless experience for our signed-in users. We’ve undertaken the most extensive notification effort in Google’s history, and we’re continuing to offer choice and control over how people use our services. The privacy policy change mainly affects users with a Google Account, and you can continue to use many of our services — including Search, Maps and YouTube — when you are logged out.” Awesome.

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