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US lawmakers question Google's new privacy policy

updated 06:50 pm EST, Thu January 26, 2012

Question how users can opt out

US Lawmakers have sent a letter to Google CEO Larry Page asking questions about the company's new privacy policy that it announced on Tuesday. The new policy consolidates more that 60 individual policies covering Google products into a single global policy. The legislators expressed concern over the logistics of how consumers would be able to opt out.

Earlier this week, the Internet services giant unveiled sweeping changes taking effect March 1. It would be replacing a multitude of individual privacy policies covering most of its online products with a single master policy. At the time, the company claimed that by doing so it was providing its customers with "simpler, more intuitive Google experience."

For members of the US House Energy and Commerce Committee, it set off an alarm. In their letter, Committee members said Google's action "raises questions about whether consumers can opt-out of the new data sharing system either globally or on a product-by-product basis."

Part of the lawmakers' questions may be over the sharing of personal data across Google's multiple services. In its announcement Tuesday, Google quietly noted that in consolidating privacy policies, it would be able to offer its users "more relevant," or more precisely targeted ads. What was not said was that a single privacy policy lets Google share data between its services, something that it may have not have been able to do previously. [via Reuters]




by MacNN Staff

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