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Thursday, February 09, 2012
Consumer Watchdog Group Lawsuit Seeks to Block Google's Privacy Changes

Consumer watchdog group EPIC sued the Federal Trade Commission in an attempt to prevent Google from making changes to its privacy policies next month.

The revision would enable Google to bundle the personal information gathered by its Internet search engine and other services, so the company can gain a better understanding of its users and potentially sell more advertising.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a Complaint and a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction in Federal District Court in Washington, DC. EPIC is seeking to compel the Federal Trade Commission to act prior to March 1, when Google plans to make changes in its terms of service. EPIC alleges that this change in business practice is in clear violation of the consent order that Google entered into on October 13, 2011. The consent order arises from a complaint that EPIC brought to the Commission in February, 2010 concerning Google Buzz and a similar attempt by Google to combine user data without user consent.

European regulators already have asked Google to delay the policy changes.

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