The U.S. Federal Trade Commission should force Google to halt its plan to consolidate user identities across its services and fine the company for violating an October privacy settlement with the agency, privacy group the Center for Digital Democracy said in a complaint filed Wednesday.
The FTC should require Google to “accurately and honestly” inform usersabout the reason for the changes, Chester wrote in his complaint.
Even though Google has not yet rolled out the privacy changes, itsplans violate an FTC settlement over Google’s aborted Buzz rollout,Chester said. The Buzz settlement allows the FTC to assess fines ofUS$16,000 per violation and applies to “future actions,” according tothe FTC.
The plan, announced in January, is “a digital fait accompli, so tospeak,” Chester said.
An FTC representative said the agencyhas received the complaint butwould not comment further.
Other privacy groups have also complained about the proposed changes.Earlier this month, the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed alawsuit against the FTC for the agency’s alleged failure to enforce theprivacy settlement.
Google changes set for March 1st
Google plans to roll out the changes on March 1. Chester called on theFTC to act quickly to block the privacy changes, and he called onGoogle to delay the changes until an FTC investigation can be completed.
Google will use the new privacy practices to collect more personal dataabout YouTube, smartphone and computerusers so that the company candeliver more personalized ads, the CDD complaint said. Google hasrolled out several new initiatives in the past year focused ondelivering better targeted ads, the complaint said.