SANTA MONICA, CA — Consumer Watchdog joined the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and three other public interest groups today in re-iterating their opposition to a proposed $8.5 million settlement in a class action suit against Google for privacy violations in the way it handled users’ search data because proposed recipients of settlement funds don’t represent the interests of the class.
SANTA MONICA, CA. – Consumer Watchdog joined the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and three other public interest groups today in opposing a proposed $8.5 million settlement in a class action suit against Google for privacy violations in the way it handled users’ search data because of at least “three obvious deficiencies” in the proposal.
Google may have only received a tap on the wrist from the Federal Trade Commission when the agency closed the U.S. antitrust investigation without taking action against the Internet giant for skewing search results to favor its services, but it’s looking increasingly likely that Google will face strong action on the other side of the Atlantic.
A federal judge’s ruling late Friday in a key privacy case demonstrates the need to implement tough “Do Not Track” rules and to take decisive action on the antitrust front against Google.
Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz has given Google what Bloomberg News Service describes as an ultimatum to settle the agency’s antitrust investigation in the next few days or face a lawsuit.
While the FTC and Google came up with the settlement, it needs to be approved by a judge, which is what next month’s hearing is about. Consumer Watchdog, an advocacy group that has been critical of Google’s privacy measures, will argue that the court should not sign off on the deal.
News broke over the weekend that Federal Trade Commission staff is calling for the Commission to bring an antitrust case against Google for abusing its dominance in search, an action Consumer Watchdog first called for more than two years ago.
“Google has demonstrated an ability to out-maneuver government regulators repeatedly and ride roughshod over the privacy rights of consumers. Google continues to be disingenuous about its practices,” says John Simpson, privacy project director at US organization Consumer Watchdog.
One of the things you hear when companies try to minimize the impact of privacy violations is an attempt to claim there was no financial harm to consumers. However, in an interesting development the Federal Trade Commission is now publicly estimating that Google’s hack around Apple’s Safari browser privacy settings earned the Internet giant up to $ 4 million.
Consumer Watchdog has criticized the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s proposed $22.5-million fine that Google might pay in connection with privacy settings on Apple’s Safari browser.
SAN FRANCISCO – The Federal Trade Commission’s proposed $22.5 million settlement with Google for hacking past privacy settings on Apple’s Safari browser fails to include a permanent injunction against violating its “Buzz” Consent Decree with the Commission, one of three reasons it be should be rejected, Consumer Watchdog said today.
Google never admitted it violated any FTC regulations, although it did agree to pay the fine. The group ConsumerWatchdog.org criticized the settlement because it felt the fine wasn’t large enough, and because Google never had to admit it did anything wrong. John Simpson, director of the privacy project at ConsumerWatchdog.org said, “This is letting Google buy its way out of trouble.”
A federal judge has allowed a public interest group to challenge a $22.5 million fine Google agreed to pay earlier this month to settle allegations that it violated a consent decree it reached last year with the Federal Trade Commission related to violations of its privacy policies.