Google to be Audited on Privacy After Buzz Complaints

It seems the world's governments are not letting up on Google with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ruling that they had "violated its own privacy promises." Google will receive independent privacy audits for the next 20 years. The FTC said that the search giant wrongly used details from Google Mail users last year to set up its social network Buzz. They ruled that "the options for declining or leaving the social network were ineffective." In a blog post Google admitted that "Buzz fell short of our usual standards. While we worked quickly to make improvements, regulators unsurprisingly wanted more detail about what went wrong and how we could prevent it from happening again." "Today, we've reached an agreement with the FTC to address their concerns." Said agreement will obligate Google to be subjected to a privacy review every other year for the next 20 years. "When companies make privacy pledges, they need to honour them," said Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the FTC. "This is a tough settlement that ensures that Google will honour its commitments to consumers and build strong privacy protections into all of its operations." The past year has brought a number of legal rulings against Google. Earlier this month, the French privacy watchdog (CNIL) fined Google 100,000 Euros over personal data collected when setting up Street View. With more focus being placed on just how much information the Internet Giants collect from individuals, we expect this will not be the last ruling to go against Google.

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