Letter Outlines Concerns of Increased Risk of Identity Theft
“We are concerned that Google’s new policy may threaten the ability of each user to keep certain aspects of their online history private,” AG Coakley said. “Today, the threat of identity theft is everywhere and we want to ensure that Google provides appropriate protection by giving consumers meaningful choices in determining how and when they share their personal information.”
According to the new policy that begins March 1, Google gives itself the freedom to combine users’ personal information from services like Web History and YouTube with all other Google products and will also store richer personal information on user profiles. The policy precludes existing users from opting out of this change without exiting the entire Google system completely.
Consolidated personal data profiles become a target for hackers and privacy thieves. In the letter to Google, Inc., the Attorneys General write:
The states and territories signing on to this letter are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, and Washington.
Given the serious concerns expressed on behalf of those consumers, the Attorneys General have requested a meeting with Google Inc. CEO Larry Page as soon as possible. Mr. Page has been asked to reply no later than Wednesday, February 29.