Eyeing on what appears to be a policy change which evaded notice by the general public, two consumer advocacy groups claim that Google has violated user privacy and the group tagged along Federal Trade Commission to investigate. 

For fear of spying and breaching users’ privacy by massive datamining resulting from the aforementioned change in policy, Consumer Watchdog in conjunction with Privacy Rights Clearinghouse filed an official complaint against the giant tech company with the FTC.

The consumer groups in subject claim that the move conducted by Google is “highly deceptive.”

In the company’s defense, however, it claimed that the changes made were only consequential of a global issue where only a small fraction of users were informed beforehand.

However, as per the raised issue, the main problem with the move was whether the search giant made it perfectly clear to the consumers the changes made and their corresponding implications to the average users.

Highlighting on the gullibility of the unaware users, the consumer advocates suggested that with the lack of Google’s proper explanation with the changes, it caused users to accept a policy they never even know about in full.

Going for the contrary, privacy project director for Consumer Watchdog, John Simpson, lashed back at Google asking for an action to be taken against it, “Google indeed has been a serial privacy violator. Something needs to be done that gets their attention.”

This was not the first time that Google had been involved in consumer privacy-related controversies.

As early as 2011, Google had been in a debacle with its social media users which resulted to a decree that dictates the company to compel to 20 years of auditing and show transparency regarding issues of privacy policy changes.

Raising similar issues, both Consumer Watchdog and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse argued that with the privacy policy changes Google conducted earlier in June, the same decree as the 2011 case has been violated.

For that, the advocate groups demand the giant tech company of handing over the advertising profits it has collected since June.

The 2011 case with Google had proven to be a real debacle for the company which see it paying a fine of $22.5 million last 2012, thanks to the committed action of the FTC.

With the same issue rising up again the second time around, Google should really consider taking the matter seriously, given the likely problem it entails to its users in the future.

Source: The Washington Post

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