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$GOOG Accused of Privacy Violations Again

“Google is in hot water once again after application developers have discovered that the Silicon Valley giant is sharing its users’ personal information without obtaining their consent.

Non-profit advocacy group Consumer Watchdog has sent a letter to the United States Federal Trade Commission that implores for the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection to intervene in the latest goof-up courtesy of Google.

According to watchdog group, Google could be forced to pay over billions of dollars in penalties after violating its own privacy promises yet again.

“Google has become a serial privacy abuser and the FTC must change its tactics to curb the Internet giant’s abuses,” John M. Simpson  of Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project said at a news conference held this week to discuss the group’s complaint. “Google’s wanton disregard for its obligations under the law demonstrate the need for meaningful penalties – in this case a fine in the billions of dollars.”

Consumer Watchdog’s call for action was made after news circulated that the programmers responsible for applications sold through Google’s online store are provided with the detailed personal information pertaining to customers who’ve made purchases, despite no warning being given.

“If you bought the app on Google Play (even if you cancelled the order) I have your email address, your suburb, and in many instances your full name,” Australian app developer Dan Nolan warns on his personal blog“Let me make this crystal clear: every App purchase you make on Google Play gives the developer your name, suburb and email address with no indication that this information is actually being transferred,” he says.

In an issue that’s echoed in the Consumer Watchdog letter, Nolan says that letting developers have unfettered access to this information could pose quite a few problems for the consumers, not to mention the Silicon Valley company that is quickly finding itself entangled in yet another privacy snafu….”

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