Electronic Privacy Information Center
Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter Google, Inc. (Google Buzz), File No. 1023136
To the FTC, I am submitting this comment on the proposed consent order, In the Matter of Google Inc., File No. 1023136, between the FTC and Google. The consent order comes as a result of the complaint filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center ("EPIC") regarding the privacy breach to Gmail users caused by Google Buzz. The FTC complaint, which draws heavily on the complaint EPIC filed with the agency, alleges that Google employed unfair and deceptive practices when it launched the Google Buzz social networking service. I strongly support the FTC settlement agreement, which applies to all Google products and services, including Gmail and Google Buzz. It bans Google from misrepresenting its privacy policies in the future, requires independent privacy audits every two-years for the next 20 years, and requires that Google institute a comprehensive privacy program to safeguard its users data and personal information. As part of the Comprehensive Privacy Program, the FTC should require Google to: not collect information on its customers or others without their permission. There have also been strong concerns about how such Google products as StreetView might negatively impinge on privacy, because it would enable people and houses to be viewed more easily by other people. People may not want their houses featured on a public Internet viewing site.