Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter Google, Inc. (Google Buzz), File No. 1023136 #00315 

Submission Number:
Newton Minow
Initiative Name:
Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter Google, Inc. (Google Buzz), File No. 1023136
To the FTC, Although I am a Google stock holder, and recognize that much of the value in the stock is based on the database of personal information that Google collects, I strongly urge that this settlement requiring Google to put users in charge of their privacy controls is essential. The balance of power, in some ways, has shifted from government to private industry, and the responsibility to our citizens by private industry must be taken seriously. Collecting personal information, without meaningful consent, is dangerous today. Witness the accidental data breaches that are reported by the news media on an almost daily basis. 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: - Limit data retention to the minimum time necessary - Routinely encrypt all cloud-based services (Gmail, Docs, etc.) - Not disclose user data to law enforcement without a warrant - Allow users to use Google services anonymously - Stop behavioral profiling of Internet users - Limit Google's use of a web site's Analytics data - Not require Google Accounts for Android phones - Not track Android users without explicit permission - Be transparent as to what data it collects on users - Allow users to control the information Google collects on them - Encrypt all Gmail to Gmail emails and chats using open standards like pgp - Refrain from offering facial recognition services