Privacy Group Asks F.T.C. to Investigate Google

The Electronic Privacy Information Center formally asked the Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday to investigate the privacy and security safeguards of Gmail, Google Docs and other so-called cloud computing services offered by Google to consumers.The filing points to a security breach earlier this month that may have improperly exposed the files of Google Docs users to others. It asks the F.T.C. to look into the adequacy of privacy and security safeguards of Google’s services and to require Google to be accountable for breaches. It also asks the agency to force Google to make its security policies more transparent and to disclose any breaches. It also asks the F.T.C. to enjoin Google from offering cloud computing services until it establishes verifiable safeguards.Marc Rotenberg, EPIC’s executive director, said he was concerned about all cloud computing services, which encourage users to store a growing number of documents on the servers of companies like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and others. But he said that EPIC focused on Google because it is the primary provider of cloud computing services to consumers.

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