Consumer and Privacy Groups Urge Google to Post a Link to Its Privacy Policy From Its Home Page

SAN DIEGO, WASHINGTON, D.C., June 3, 2008 — A coalition of privacy and consumer organizations from California to Washington, D.C. have urged Google to post a prominent link on its homepage to its privacy policy. In a letter released Tuesday, the groups say this is required by California law and is the widespread practice of commercial web sites.

The organizations include EPIC, the California-based Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, the World Privacy Forum, Consumer Action, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the ACLU of Northern California, and the Consumer Federation of California.

Google has come under criticism recently for failing to post a homepage link to its privacy policy, saying that it did not want to clutter its homepage. But several experts, including the head of the California Office of Privacy Protection, have said that Google should include the link.

According to the consumer organizations, “Google’s reluctance to post a link to its privacy policy on its homepage is alarming.” The groups wrote to Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt, “We urge you to comply with the California Online Privacy Protection Act and the widespread practice for commercial web sites as soon as possible.”

Marc Rotenberg, Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C., said, “This is not rocket science. And the word ‘privacy’ is not going to take up a lot of space on the Google homepage.”

Pam Dixon, Executive Director of the World Privacy Forum in San Diego, California said, “Consumers should be able to access Google’s privacy policy with just one click from its homepage — this is an industry-wide best practice that Google is not exempt from.”

Beth Givens, Director of the San Diego-based Privacy Rights Clearinghouse said, “Google’s homepage will easily accommodate this important seven-letter word.”

For more information:

The Letter to Google is available at:

http://www.worldprivacyforum.org

http://www.epic.org

http://www.privacyrights.org

About EPIC:

EPIC is a public interest research center in Washington, D.C. EPIC was established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, the First Amendment, and constitutional values. http://www.epic.org.

About the World Privacy Forum:

The World Privacy Forum is a non-profit public interest research group based in San Diego, California. It focuses its work on indepth longitudinal research and consumer education in the area of privacy. http://www.worldprivacyforum.org.

About the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse:

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse is a non-profit, San-Diego based consumer education and advocacy organization. The PRC was established in 1992. http://www.privacyrights.org

 

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