Court Rules In Favor Of FTC Over Case Regarding Google Privacy Settlement

Google’s privacy settings have been under a lot of fire of late. It’s chiefly a result of Google’s new privacy policy that is attracting the criticism. A lawsuit was filed by Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) which was aimed at having Federal Trade Commission forced to enact a consent order against Google. The suit was filed with the Federal District Court in Washington, D.C. However, the court has ruled in favor of FTC and stated that it has no jurisdiction to intervene in FTC’s enforcement decision.

The lawsuit is actually a response to a settlement that was reached between FTC and Google in 2011 over a privacy case. According to EPIC, the new privacy policy by Google which is scheduled to go into effect tome Thursday, violates the terms of this settlement. For that, EPIC was seeking a temporary restraining order against Google and also a preliminary injunction.

However, the court has now ruled it doesn’t have jurisdiction over FTC’s enforcement decisions and that it can’t force the Commission to enforce something. The policies of FTC have to be enacted and reached upon by the Commission itself. A spokesperson for FTC stated, “We take our settlement orders very seriously, but only the FTC and not outside parties should be able to enforce them. We are pleased that the Court has rejected EPIC’s unwarranted attempt to interrupt the FTC’s careful consideration of the announced changes in Google’s privacy policies.”

As far as Google’s stance is concerned, the search engine responded to the lawsuit by saying that EPIC’s facts for this case are wrong and that the new privacy policies are for the benefit of the users. However, the court left the question of whether or not Google’s new policies violate the consent order, open. This means that we can expect a future ruling over that, and perhaps soon.

Image courtesy adria.
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Salman Latif is a software engineer with a specific interest in social media, big data and real-world solutions using the two.Other than that, he is a bit of a gypsy. He also writes in his own blog. You can find him on Google+ and Twitter .

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