Lawsuit seeks to block Google’s privacy changes

A consumer watchdog group is suing the Federal Trade Commission in an attempt to prevent Google from making sweeping changes to its privacy policies next month, the Associated Press reports. The planned revisions would enable Google Inc. to bundle the personal information gathered by its Internet search engine and other services, such as Gmail, YouTube and Plus, so the company can gain a better understanding of its users and potentially sell more advertising. Google has depicted the switch as an improvement that will make its privacy policies easier to understand and help deliver more helpful information to users. But the Electronic Privacy Information Center contends Google’s new policies would violate restrictions imposed in an agreement reached with the FTC last year. Google submitted to the rules to resolve complaints that the company had improperly exposed users’ email contacts in a now-defunct service called Buzz…

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Google to merge user data across more services

Google said it talked to regulators about the upcoming privacy changes, which it will apply worldwide.

Google announced a plan Jan. 24 to link user data across its eMail, video, social-networking, and other services that it says will create a “beautifully simple and intuitive” user experience. But critics raised privacy concerns like those that helped kill the search giant’s Buzz social networking service.

The changes, which take effect March 1, will remove some of the legal hurdles Google Inc. faces in trying to link information across services from Gmail to YouTube to the Google Plus social network that replaced Buzz.

More than 70 different company policies are being streamlined into one main privacy policy and about a dozen others. Separate policies will continue to govern products such as Google’s Chrome web browser and its Wallet service for electronic payments.…Read More