SANTA MONICA, CA — Consumer Watchdog today praised state attorneys general for voicing their concerns about Google’s changes in privacy polices and asking for a meeting with the Internet giant’s CEO Larry Page.
Attorneys general from 35 other states and territories joined Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler in sending the letter. They gave Google a week to reply.
“I am deeply concerned about Google’s effort to push a major privacy change on consumers without giving them the choice to opt in, or at a minimum the opportunity to opt out,” said Attorney General Gansler. “After years of touting its commitment to meaningful privacy choices for its users, Google should abide by its claimed privacy principles and let consumers decide whether to say ‘No thanks’ to a new policy.”
Google’s new policy, effective March 1, will combine more than 60 privacy policies across services including Search, Gmail and YouTube. Previously, data was kept separate in each of Google’s services. These new combined digital dossiers are tremendously powerful for targeting ads, something that Google does not mention, Consumer Watchdog said.
Last week in the wake of a Stanford University researcher’s study that found Google has been violating people’s online privacy choices, Consumer Watchdog said the Internet giant was lying to users and called for the Federal Trade Commission to act.
The states and territories signing on to this letter include: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, N. Mariana Islands, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, the Virgin Islands, and Washington.
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