Privacy group urges probe of Google cloud services

March 18, 2009
The logo of web search engine Google is seen behing a computer keyboard. A US electronic privacy group has called for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the security and privacy of Google's Web-based products such as email and photo services.

A US electronic privacy group has called for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the security and privacy of Google's Web-based products such as email and photo services.

"Recent reports indicate that does not adequately safeguard the confidential information it obtains," the Electronic Information Center (EPIC) said in the filed with the FTC.

EPIC said it was petitioning the commission, which is responsible for consumer protection issues, to probe "Google's Cloud Computing Services to determine the adequacy of the privacy and security safeguards."

Cloud computing services provided by Google include , the Internet search giant's email program; , its online word processing and spreadsheet ; Picasa, a software application for digital photos; and Google Calendar.

EPIC, in the complaint filed on Tuesday, said that it wanted the FTC to determine whether Google has "engaged in unfair and/or deceptive trade practices" regarding its cloud computing products.

It urged the FTC to enjoin the company from offering such services "until safeguards are verifiably established."

"Such action by the commission is necessary to ensure the safety and security of information submitted to Google by American consumers, American businesses and American federal agencies," EPIC said.

In its complaint, EPIC cited an incident with Google Docs this month in which the Mountain View, California company acknowledged that the privacy of some digital documents had been compromised.

Google Docs product manager Jennifer Mazzon said at the time that a "very small percentage of users shared some of their documents inadvertently" because of an unspecified "bug."

There was no immediate reply from Google to a request by AFP for comment on the complaint by the Washington-based EPIC

Google and other Internet firms have been enticing people to rely on applications offered online as services "in the cloud" instead of buying software to install and maintain on their own machines.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Google software bug shared private online documents

Related Stories

Google Announces the Google Pack

January 8, 2006

Google announced the Google Pack beta, a free collection of useful software from Google and other companies that improves the user experience online and on the desktop. In just a few clicks, users can install and maintain ...

Google Maps combines with Google Local

October 7, 2005

Google Inc. of Mountain View, Calif., says it has combined its Google Maps service with Google Local, moving both out of beta, or testing, status.

Recommended for you

Cryptocurrency rivals snap at Bitcoin's heels

January 14, 2018

Bitcoin may be the most famous cryptocurrency but, despite a dizzying rise, it's not the most lucrative one and far from alone in a universe that counts 1,400 rivals, and counting.

Top takeaways from Consumers Electronics Show

January 13, 2018

The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, which concluded Friday in Las Vegas, drew some 4,000 exhibitors from dozens of countries and more than 170,000 attendees, showcased some of the latest from the technology world.

Finnish firm detects new Intel security flaw

January 12, 2018

A new security flaw has been found in Intel hardware which could enable hackers to access corporate laptops remotely, Finnish cybersecurity specialist F-Secure said on Friday.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Doug_Huffman
not rated yet Mar 18, 2009
Internet marketeers entice people to buy vaporous virtual applications instead of promoting Open Source software.

Ah Oh helL, M$ and G00gle are buggy whips and vestiges of the way things used to be done. Dead men walking.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.