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FTC Finalizes Google Buzz Settlement but Fails to Adopt Any Recommended Safeguards Following Public Comment Process

The Federal Trade Commission has finalized the settlement with Google regarding Buzz, the social network service launched in early 2010. The Commission action follows a complaint filed by EPIC on behalf of Gmail subscribers and other Internet users. The FTC agreement with Google is far-reaching and bars the company from future privacy misrepresentations, requires it to implement a comprehensive privacy program, and calls for regular, independent privacy audits for the next 20 years. However, the Commission failed to adopt any of the recommendations submitted during the public comment process." In a letter to EPIC and to others who submitted suggestions, the FTC wrote "the Commission has determined that the public interest would best be served by issuing the Decision and Order in final form without any modifications." For more information, see EPIC - In re Google Buzz and Fix Google Privacy.

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