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Google Settles with FTC over Alleged Privacy Violations

Monday, November 14, 2011

In the Matter of Google Inc., No. C–4336 (Oct. 13, 2011) After a period of public comment, the Federal Trade Commission and Google, Inc. agreed to settle charges it made false and misleading statements about its collection and use of users' personal information during the launch of its Google Buzz platform. The FTC claimed Google engaged in deceptive practices in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act ("FTC Act"), 15 U.S.C. § 45(a). Under the consent order Google agreed to implement a comprehensive privacy program and submit to independent privacy audits for 20 years.

Google Introduced Buzz Social Network

Between 2004 and 2010, Google published on its website certain claims about its privacy practices. In particular, Google stated that it collects users' personal information for particular services, and that "[i]f we use this information in a manner different than the purpose for which it was collected, then we will ask for your consent prior to such use." FTC Complaint at

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