EPIC Files Emergency Appeal Against Google

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The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a consumer watchdog group, has just appealed a court ruling in a Google privacy case, in which they'd asked that the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Google's latest privacy policy changes. On February 18th, EPIC's initial request was denied by federal court, after the FTC basically told them to mind their own business, citing that EPIC had no legal standing in the matter. In a statement, the agency added, “we are asking the court to dismiss the case because parties such as EPIC are barred by law from interfering with the proper investigation and enforcement of F.T.C. orders.”

Today, EPIC announced its plan for an emergency appeal of the decision, and is again pushing for a ruling by March 1st, when Google's new privacy policy changes are set to update. Google announced in January that they were combining about 60 of their privacy policies into one, calling the idea a “beautifully simple, intuitive user experience across Google.” User accounts will be linked across Google products, and the privacy policy itself will be made easier to read and comprehend.

EPIC is concerned that the changes at Google will compromise users' privacy, and that Google failed to comply with a consent order issued by the FTC. EPIC asserts that Google “chose not to answer many of the questions,” and failed to fully explain the impact on user privacy that will occur on March 1st. Still, the FTC is in charge here, which apparently really angers EPIC, with the group adding, “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.”

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