Has Google Neglected To Follow Through On The Promises In Its Compliance Report With The FTC?

 According to a Google compliance report, which was obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) through a Freedom of Information Act request, Google promised it would do a number of things to notify users of the change to its privacy policies and terms of service.

This self-assessed report was submitted to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on late January. Google has to regularly submit these reports to show how they are respecting the privacy of its users because they agreed to a consent order with the FTC after Google admitted it violated the privacy of it users when it launched its social networking tool called Buzz in 2010. Google also had to pay out millions and is now being more closely watched by the federal agency for 20 years.

In its first compliance report, Google claims it has gone through “exceptional lengths” to notify users of the changes to its privacy policies. They claim that their efforts to notify users include 5 elements, including this one:

“Google will run a homepage promotion on Google.com (and other top-level domains) for five days from the launch date. The text will not be dismissible”

Um…I don’t know about you, but I have yet to see this happen. It’s now Sunday, February 26th, 2012 and Google will launch their new privacy policy on March 1st. Where are the homepage promotions, Google?

Do you guys see it or not? I’m wondering if it could just be me. Ha-ha, but I doubt it because Google is known for not following through on things properly or not at all.

In that same report, Google said,

“An email will be sent to every Google Account holder, except those associated with enterprise (Google Apps) customers. A separate email will be sent to the registered administrators of Google Apps domains, so that they notify their users as they see fit.”

But Google totally screwed this one up. It ended up sending emails to people who don’t have Google accounts. Many were angry that Google knew about their email address even though they have never done business with the company. I have received that same Google email and I’m not connected with Google at all and I’m not alone. Google later called it a “glitch”, but it left people even more suspicious. I wrote more about it in another post – click here

I sure don’t want a company like Google harvesting even more personal data about me when it has these so-called glitches. Who knows where your data can accidentally end up and who gets to see it!? Identity fraud is inevitable if Google left to handle your personal data.

Google has a big problem with not only complying with the FTC’s consent order, as argued by EPIC and many other groups, but it also has a problem with executing plans it outlined in its own self-assessed report!

Google should not be given credit for taking “exceptional lengths” to notify users when it’s so clumsy and negligent.

You can read Google’s full compliance report – click here

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