Risk
5/15/2013
11:52 AM
Dark Reading
Dark Reading
Products and Releases
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google's New Privacy Policy Display Violates California Privacy Protection Law, Is "Deceptive," Consumer Watchdog Tells Attorney General

Google has inserted another page between the home page and the privacy policy

SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A recent change in the way Google presents its privacy policy violates the California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA) and the policy is "fundamentally deceptive,"

Consumer Watchdog told Attorney General Kamala Harris.

"You have been a leader in the fight to protect Californians' privacy, a right that is enshrined in our State Constitution," wrote John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog's Privacy Project director, in a letter today to the attorney general.

"We ask that you continue this fight and take strong action against Google on both of these threats to our privacy."

Read Consumer Watchdog's letter here:

http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/ltrharris051513.pdf

Previously, Google linked directly from its home page to Google's privacy policy, as is required by CalOPPA. Now Google has inserted another page between the home page and the privacy policy.

"The content of this page is designed to convey the impression that Google cares about security and privacy. However, it does not provide a meaningful explanation of how Google handles users' data," wrote Simpson. "In order to get to the privacy policy the user must click on yet another hyperlink. Google is clearly burying its privacy policy and offering distractions to users who are trying to reach the policy from Google's home page."

Even more troubling is what the privacy policy fails to make clear once you finally arrive at the privacy policy page, Consumer Watchdog said. Google's privacy policy is deceptive because of what it omits. The letter continued:

"Nowhere in the policy does Google explain that it gathers the users' data to amass ever more detailed information about them so it can maximize the amount it charges for ads. Users of Google's services are not its customers; they are its product. The information about users -- what they search for, what videos they view, how they use Google's services, how they behave online, etc. -- is what Google is using to sell ads. This is the basis of its business model. This is why our data is gathered, but Google has chosen to omit this crucial detail from its explanation of how it uses data in its privacy policy.

"Leaving out such an important point is in essence lying by omission. It is a fundamentally deceptive explanation of what Google is doing with our data and why it is doing it."

Google gives this explanation of why it gathers users data:

"We use the information we collect from all of our services to provide, maintain, protect and improve them, to develop new ones, and to protect Google and our users. We also use this information to offer you tailored content - like giving you more relevant search results and ads."

Here is the link to the page Google has inserted between the home page and the privacy policy: http://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/

Visit Consumer Watchdog at www.consumerwatchdog.org

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-0619
Published: 2014-10-23
Untrusted search path vulnerability in Hamster Free ZIP Archiver 2.0.1.7 allows local users to execute arbitrary code and conduct DLL hijacking attacks via a Trojan horse dwmapi.dll that is located in the current working directory.

CVE-2014-2230
Published: 2014-10-23
Open redirect vulnerability in the header function in adclick.php in OpenX 2.8.10 and earlier allows remote attackers to redirect users to arbitrary web sites and conduct phishing attacks via a URL in the (1) dest parameter to adclick.php or (2) _maxdest parameter to ck.php.

CVE-2014-7281
Published: 2014-10-23
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in Shenzhen Tenda Technology Tenda A32 Router with firmware 5.07.53_CN allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that reboot the device via a request to goform/SysToolReboot.

CVE-2014-7292
Published: 2014-10-23
Open redirect vulnerability in the Click-Through feature in Newtelligence dasBlog 2.1 (2.1.8102.813), 2.2 (2.2.8279.16125), and 2.3 (2.3.9074.18820) allows remote attackers to redirect users to arbitrary web sites and conduct phishing attacks via a URL in the url parameter to ct.ashx.

CVE-2014-8071
Published: 2014-10-23
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in OpenMRS 2.1 Standalone Edition allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the (1) givenName, (2) familyName, (3) address1, or (4) address2 parameter to registrationapp/registerPatient.page; the (5) comment parameter to all...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.