Google Agrees to FTC Allow Independent Review of Privacy Procedures Once Every Two Years

Google's Alma Whitten, Director of Privacy, Product & Engineering posted an update on the Buzz data privacy issues "We'd like to apologize again for the mistakes we made with Buzz. While today's announcement thankfully put this incident behind us, we're 100% focused on ensuring that our new privacy procedures effectively protect the interests of all […]

Google's Alma Whitten, Director of Privacy, Product & Engineering posted an update on the Buzz data privacy issues "We'd like to apologize again for the mistakes we made with Buzz. While today's announcement thankfully put this incident behind us, we're 100% focused on ensuring that our new privacy procedures effectively protect the interests of all our users going forward."

Here's what Google says about Buzz:

User trust really matters to Google. That's why we try to be clear about what data we collect and how we use it--and to give people real control over the information they share with us. For e.g., Google Dashboard lets you view the data that's stored in your Google Account and manage your privacy settings for different services. With our Ads Preferences Manager, you can see and edit the data Google uses to tailor ads on our partner websites--or opt out of them entirely. And the Data Liberation Front makes it easy to move your data in and out of Google products. We also recently improved our internal privacy and security procedures.

That said, we don't always get everything right. The launch of Google Buzz fell short of our usual standards for transparency and user control--letting our users and Google down. While we worked quickly to make improvements, regulators--including the U.S. Federal Trade Commission--unsurprisingly wanted more detail about what went wrong and how we could prevent it from happening again. Today, we've reached an agreement with the FTC to address their concerns. We'll receive an independent review of our privacy procedures once every two years, and we'll ask users to give us affirmative consent before we change how we share their personal information.

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