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Google Responded To the FTC On Privacy Issues Before EPIC Sued

January report details compliance with consent order.

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Yesterday we brought you news that the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) had filed a federal suit against the FTC in order to block Google’s switch to a new, unified privacy policy that would cover all their services. EPIC claimed that the new policy violated a 2011 consent order that prohibited Google from combining user data without consent.

Google, however, insisted that the suit was groundless, saying that “EPIC is wrong on the facts and the law.” Late yesterday afternoon, the court agreed to expedite the case, giving the FTC until February 17th to respond to the suit, and EPIC until the 21st to file their reply to the FTC.

Now it looks like Google may have been ahead of the game the entire time. Politico is reporting this afternoon that they have managed to get hold of a report Google filed with the FTC on January 26th detailing the company’s compliance with the very consent order that EPIC insists their new privacy policy violates.The report details the steps that Google has undertaken to maintain the privacy of their users and to ensure that users are properly notified of the changes to Google’s policy. The report describes an “aggressive notification process” that Google intends to use “to promote user awareness of the current terms of teh Google Privacy Policy and to present users with clear information in order to exercise meaningful choice regarding their continued use of Google services.”

The report walks through the provisions of the consent order step by step and describes the steps Google has taken to make sure that their new privacy policy complies with it. The report is dated January 26, 2012 (two days after the initial announcement), and signed by Keith Enright, Google’s Senior Privacy Council. A copy of the report can be found here.

Google Responded To the FTC On Privacy Issues Before EPIC Sued
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  • Jennifer Sweeney

    Don’t wait for the government to sort this out. Make Google accountable. If they really are being honest, they shouldn’t have a problem. But something tells me they’re not. Sign the petition to protect our privacy!

    http://www.change.org/petitions/google-ask-fairly-about-our-privacy

    • guest

      Did you not read the article?

      • D

        I have been using google for many years because I thought it was safe to use it search engine and email account. I have however recently found that while sending an email to friends and business people that advertisement will pop up on the side regarding the issues outlined in my email. At first I thought it was a coincident but when I told a computer friend about it, he advised me that Google knows what I write in my emails and my information is not safe. I feel that Google should be forced to protect the users of its site and email accounts. It does not bother me that google knows what items I am searching for on its search engines because it helps me as a consumer to get the product that I am looking for, but knowing what I write in my emails is a depravation of privacy.