Senators Again Question White House Google Website Plan

April 1, 2020

Five U.S. Senators have sent a follow-up letter to Google requesting more information about the company's plans to protect user data on the coronavirus screening website. Senators Bob Menendez, Sherrod Brown, Richard Blumenthal, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker had sent a letter to the White House expressing concern about the website two weeks ago. The Senators wrote now to say that personal data should "not be used for any commercial purposes in the future, and Verily should clearly state if the collected information is in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)." The Senators asked for responses to several questions by April 6, 2020. Google is under a consent order that gives the FTC authority to oversee the company's privacy practices as a consequence of EPIC's complaints about Google Buzz. EPIC later sued the FTC, EPIC v. FTC, for the agency's failure to enforce the consent against Google.

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