Lawmakers Call On FTC To Review Google Privacy Policy

    March 29, 2010

Congressman John Barrow (D-GA) along with a number of other lawmakers sent a letter last week to the Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz calling for the protection of consumer privacy rights and an in-depth review of Google’s public release of personal consumer information

John-Barrow "We are writing to express our concern over claims that Google’s ‘Google Buzz’ social networking tool breaches online consumer privacy and trust," said Congressman Barrow.

"Due to the high number of individuals whose online privacy is affected by tools like this – either directly or indirectly – we feel that these claims warrant the Commission’s review of Google’s public disclosure of personal information of consumers through Google Buzz," said Congressman Barrow.

The letter to the FTC highlights the need for companies to include consumer privacy protections and online safety measures as they develop new technology online and gain access to more consumer information. Congress man Barrow and other members of the Energy and Commerce committee asked a number of questions to assist in the evaluation of online privacy practices and to protect consumer data.

The letter comes after a number of consumer complaints concerning Google Buzz, including cases where users’ private information was publicly disclosed without their notice or consent.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center ("EPIC") has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission claiming that Google Buzz engaged in unfair and deceptive practices that violated Google’s privacy policy, user expectations of privacy, and federal wiretap laws.