EPIC Google Privacy Suit Gets Expedited

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Yesterday we brought you news that the Electronic Privacy Information Center had filed suit against the Federal Trade Commission to force them to block Google’s controversial new privacy policy, set to roll out on March 1. EPIC claims that the privacy policy violates an order issued in October 2011 preventing Google from combining user data without consent. Google responded quickly, saying that “EPIC is wrong on the facts and the law.”

Now, a federal judge has expedited the suit. The court has given the FTC until February 17 to file a response to EPIC’s demands, after which EPIC will have until the 21st to issue their own reply. According to a post on EPIC’s blog late yesterday, “[t]he Court’s deadlines reflect Google’s imminent, substantial changes to the company’s business practices.” EPIC accuses Google of preparing “to consolidate the personal data of Google users across 60 services,” which it claims is a violation of the earlier consent order. The original order dealt with Google’s short-lived Google Buzz social network.

Google has continued to insist that their new policy poses no threat to user privacy, and that they have worked hard throughout this process to be as transparent as possible and make sure all users are informed of the changes.

What do you think? Is EPIC overreacting? Sound off in the comments.

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