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EPIC really, REALLY wishes the FTC would review Google's pending privacy policy update

Posted: , by Scott H.

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EPIC really, REALLY wishes the FTC would review Google's pending privacy policy update
Here we go again. As we’ve reported previously (and as you surely know from web ads) Google is retooling its privacy policies, merging more than five dozen different privacy policy statements into a single one that is simpler to read. They’ve been aggressive about trying to get people to actually read what’s in it, and the long and short of it is they aren’t changing your settings or changing what sort of data is shared beyond Google, the only significant change is that your data within Google products will now be shared with other Google products you use – so trying to find friends on YouTube will be easier because they can leverage your contacts data to help you auto-complete a search form.

We concluded that the real “problem” here is that many internet users simply don’t want to be faced with how much data companies like Facebook, Google, and even Apple collect about you when you use their products, so Google’s posting of a simpler to read united privacy policy seems to have made people uncomfortable by getting dragged out of their “ignorance is bliss” attitude about web services.

Some of those people work for the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), who tried to sue in Federal Court to force the FTC to review Google’s upcoming privacy changes. They were told in no certain terms to buzz off by the court, ruling that the court system has no authority to compel the executive branch-based FTC to decide whom it will investigate.

Epic isn’t taking no for an answer, however, and they’ve filed an “emergency appeal,” hoping to compel first the court and then the FTC to step in and press the “pause button” before March 1st, when Google’s privacy policy changes will go into effect. In particular EPIC claims that Google dodged some of the detailed questions the FTC asked, thus not satisfactorily explaining (to EPIC’s standards, at least) how the upcoming policy changes will impact user privacy.

We think Google’s statement is admirably clear compared to the overly legalistic wording of most other privacy policies, but certainly we want Google to come clean to the FTC about whatever is asked. In the end though, we suspect that it’s ultimately up to the FTC to decide whether Google has complied or not, and it seems likely the appeals court will hold a similar view.

We’ve added Google’s privacy statement in the source links, so you can make up your own minds.

source: EPIC via Tech Crunch; Google's Privacy Policy Preview

9 Comments
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posted on 27 Feb 2012, 12:06 1

1. tward291 (Posts: 559; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)


google changing its private policy has cause alot of ppl to clamp them cheeks close lol

posted on 27 Feb 2012, 12:21 2

2. tward291 (Posts: 559; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)


after reading google private policy i only see one thing some people may not like
we may not immediately delete residual copies from our active servers and may not remove information from our backup systems.
other than that the policy does not seem to be invasive.

posted on 27 Feb 2012, 12:23 1

3. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)


lol it seems like actually make things easier for people and letting people know whats happening is the wrong thing to do...i guess they should have just kept everything confused with small prints and large eulas like other companies.

posted on 27 Feb 2012, 12:35

4. HTCFreak (Posts: 149; Member since: 17 Jul 2010)


woow... this is EPIC!!! :p

posted on 27 Feb 2012, 12:52 1

5. JGuinan007 (Posts: 626; Member since: 19 May 2011)


ThePrivacy policy seems clear to me what is EPICs problems with it what questions do they think Google dodged I wish all companies set up their policy like googles

posted on 27 Feb 2012, 12:56 1

6. hybris (Posts: 56; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


I agree with everyone... Google is being upfront and transparent-- every time I go onto google it asks me to read it. What's the outrage? It's their company and it's the individual end user's choice, why are people up in arms?

posted on 27 Feb 2012, 13:55 2

7. Scott_H (Posts: 167; Member since: 28 Oct 2011)


What I find really strange is that people seem more upset by this than they do about Target tracking enough information to figure out when you're pregnant so they can send you coupons for baby stuff to your house. That's personal information, will names, addresses, and it's potentially revealing private information to others in your household, but instead people are all up in arms because Google is clarifying their policy and doesn't share identifiable information with anyone.

I assume it just seems scarier because it involves computers and the internet?

posted on 27 Feb 2012, 16:37 2

9. 14545 (Posts: 1091; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


Exactly. Personally I'm going to like El Goog's services being more unified. It will make things easier on me, and google has given me no reason not to trust them. If they do something actually wrong, then I would take pause. But they haven't. So what's the big deal.

posted on 27 Feb 2012, 14:05

8. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


For one second i thought they mean Epic Games

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