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Consumer Watchdog challenges Google-FTC privacy settlement

Juan Carlos Perez | Aug. 23, 2012
Consumer Watchdog, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, is dialing up its criticism of the proposed privacy settlement between the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Google.

When the proposed settlement was announced, Google said that the FTC's allegations were based "on a 2009 help center page published more than two years before our consent decree, and a year before Apple changed its cookie-handling policy." Google has now changed that page and "taken steps to remove the ad cookies, which collected no personal information, from Apple's browsers," Google said in a statement then.

Asked for comment about Consumer Watchdog's motion, a Google spokeswoman said via email: "We're confident that there is no basis for this challenge." An FTC spokeswoman said the agency is reviewing the motion.

John Simpson, director of the privacy project at Consumer Watchdog, said the proposed settlement lets Google "buy its way out of trouble" and get away with making no admission of wrongdoing. "Corporations need to be held accountable when they willfully violate a consent agreement," he said in a statement.

 

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