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Larry Page

In a letter today to Google CEO Larry Page, attorneys general from dozens of states question the company’s plan to unify its privacy policies across its different web properties and say the company should give users the option of opting in or out of the changes.

Here’s the full text of the letter, signed by officials including Rob McKenna, the Washington state attorney general and current president of the National Association of Attorneys General: PDF.

“Google’s new privacy policy is troubling for a number of reasons. On a fundamental level, the policy appears to invade consumer privacy by automatically sharing personal information consumers input into one Google product with all Google products. … It rings hollow to call their ability to exit the Google products ecosystem a “choice” in an Internet economy where the clear majority of all Internet users use – and  frequently rely on – at least one Google product on a regular basis.”

In a statement about the AGs’ letter, Google says, “Our updated Privacy Policy will make our privacy practices easier to understand, and it reflects our desire to create a seamless experience for our signed-in users. We’ve undertaken the most extensive notification effort in Google’s history, and we’re continuing to offer choice and control over how people use our services services. Of course we are happy to discuss this approach with regulators globally.”

McKenna, who is also running for Washington state governor, said in a statement, “Consumers should have the choice of opting in, rather than being forced to opt out, before they give out so much personal information.”

(Via Washington Post)

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