Senators Question White House Google Website Plan

March 19, 2020

Five U.S. Senators have sent a letter to the White House expressing concern over the privacy implications of the Administration's plan to allow Google to establish a virus screening website for COVID-19. Senators Bob Menendez, Sherrod Brown, Richard Blumenthal, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker said "If the Administration and the private company responsible for launching and maintaining the website does not establish sufficient privacy safeguards, Americans who use the site will be more susceptible to identity theft, negative credit decisions, and employment discrimination." The Senators asked for responses to thirteen questions by March 30, 2020. Google is under a consent order that gives the FTC authority to oversee the company's privacy practices. The FTC consent order followed complaints by EPIC 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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