EPIC: FTC has to stop Google’s privacy policy change

EPIC, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, based in the US, has sued the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in an attempt to compel the FTC to act prior to 1 March, when Google plans to make changes to its terms of service so that individuals would be treated as a single user whether they are using You Tube, Google search or other Google services. Google’s plans to consolidate all its privacy polices into one would thus make it possible to combine user data without user consent. EPIC says that this change in business practice is in clear violation of the consent order that Google entered into on 13 October 2011 concerning Google Buzz and user consent.

Also, the EU’s Art. 29 Data Protection Working Party has expressed concern and asked Google to pause implementation until the DP authorities study possible consequences for users. However, Google responded by saying that it had consulted many of the authorities prior to making the plans public, and has no intention to delay its single privacy policy timetable.

EPIC filed a complaint, and a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction in Federal District Court in Washington, DC, on 8 February.