Though Google claims the switch is about making its privacy policies more transparent and understandable to users, the CDD said the Internet giant has presented the information "in a deceptive way" that suggests consumers will actually benefit.
In a new complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission, the digital media watchdog claimed the makeover is really all about giving Google a wider array of opportunities to exploit user data in ways that maximize online advertising sales opportunities and competitive edge.
"Google's own recent and emerging digital advertising and marketing practices are the driving force behind the policy change," CDD Executive Director Jeff Chester told the commission in a formal complaint filed Tuesday.
A Compelling Need
Last Friday, however, the FTC asked a U.S. District Court to dismiss a new lawsuit filed by EPIC that sought to compel the commission to enforce its own Google Buzz consent decree. In its response to the court, the FTC characterized EPIC's complaint as "so attenuated and unsubstantial as to be absolutely devoid of merit."
The FTC also cited other court rulings to buttress its claim that the commission's own enforcement decisions are not subject to judicial review.
"EPIC's complaint, which seeks to deprive the commission of the discretion to exercise its enforcement authority, flouts controlling precedent that universally rejects such efforts," the FTC told the court.
In its response to the court, EPIC's lawyers argued that the FTC had submitted precedents to the court that do not, in fact, bar the judicial review of agency action. The watchdog said Congress has already instructed the FTC to enforce any final orders resulting from the commission's own prior investigations and enforcement actions. (continued...)