EPIC Files to Stop Google Privacy Changes

Posted by at 6:05 am on February 28, 2012

Hoping to stopping — at least temporarily — the privacy policy changes Google plans to implement on March 1st, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has said it will appeal a court ruling that it has no standing in the FTC’s ability to enforce a consent order against Google. The group claims that Google has not complied with the consent order and that the FTC are ignoring this.

The group claims that the consolidation of privacy policies is a violation of the consent order, which required that users have the ability to “opt in” or “opt out” of any tracking or information collection Google wants to do in conjunction with its offerings. The FTC’s position on the matter is they alone have jurisdiction to decide if Google is in compliance and can take action if it seems warranted. The court later agreed with this, saying it could not force the FTC to apply the consent order.

Google’s plan to unify its privacy policies across all its products and services allows it to consolidate what it knows about users and raises questions about how it will safeguard the data from being abused, questions Google has been uncooperative in answering. Both the US Congress and 36 attorneys general have also raised concerns about Google’s plans.

The advertising and search giant has recently been caught bypassing privacy policies in a number of browsers, including Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer in order to collect information on users’ movements on the internet. EPIC says that Google has consistently avoided explaining what impact the privacy changes will have on users and demonstrated that it still harbors nefarious intentions.

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