Committee Leadership Requests Information from Google on New Privacy Policy

Washington, DC— Today Reps. Henry A. Waxman, Cliff Stearns, Edward J. Markey, Joe Barton, Diana DeGette, Marsha Blackburn, G.K. Butterfield, and Jackie Speier sent a letter to Google CEO Larry Page to request  information on Google’s new privacy policy, which allows sharing of consumer data among nearly all of Google’s products and services.  This decision raises concerns about whether consumers can opt-out of this new data sharing system and whether the policy will provide adequate protections of consumers’ privacy rights.  The members wrote, “We believe that consumers should have the ability to opt out of data collection when they are not comfortable with a company’s terms of service and that ability to exercise that choice should be simple and straightforward.”

Googling is like breathing for millions of kids and teens – they can’t live without it," said Rep. Markey. "All consumers should have the right to say no to sharing of their personal information, particularly when young people are involved.  Google's new privacy policy should enable consumers to opt-out if they don’t want their use of YouTube to morph into YouTrack.  Consumers – not corporations – should have control over their own personal information, especially for children and teens. I plan to ask the Federal Trade Commission whether Google’s planned changes to its privacy policy violate Google's recent settlement with the agency.”

The full text of the letter is available below.