Submission Number: 00301
Received: 5/2/2011 12:00:00 AM
Commenter: Diane Downie
Organization: Software professional and private citizen
State: New Hampshire
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter Google, Inc. (Google Buzz), File No. 1023136
Attachments: No Attachments
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:
- Allow users to use Google services anonymously - 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
While companies should be free to offer services on the internet, they should be completely up front about the use and handling of personal information. Personal data belongs to the individual. It should be up to the individual how it is used. Commercial organizations should not be able to buy and sell an individuals data without their permission.