Privacy Group Calls For Investigation Of Google

    March 18, 2009

An online privacy group has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) asking it to investigate Google’s security safeguards for its cloud computing service.

The complaint, filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), comes after Google inadvertently disclosed consumer’s private information stored on its cloud computing service.

EPIC also asked the FTC to keep Google from offering its cloud computing services until safeguards are put in place.

Google said it had received a copy of the complaint but had not gone over the details. "We are highly aware of how important our users’ data is to them and take our responsibility very seriously," the company said.

Marc Rotenberg
Marc Rotenberg

On March 7, Google said a glitch in its online software, Google Docs, led to a small number of users to inadvertently share their private documents with others. The glitch has since been corrected and affected 0.05 percent of all documents. Google says the glitch was limited to users who had previously shared online documents with others.

"Given the growing dependence of US consumers, businesses, and federal agencies on cloud computing services, providers like Google must ensure the security of personal information stored on their servers," said Marc Rotenberg, Executive Director, EPIC.

"The Google Docs data breach highlights the hazards of Google’s inadequate security practices, as well as the risks of cloud computing services generally."