- In response to Google’s recent announcement that it will combine the privacy policies and data from over 60 different Google products and services, eight members of Congress wrote to Google asking it to explain the “steps [that] are being taken to ensure the protection of consumers’ privacy rights.” The letter includes 11 questions ranging from the ways in which Google collects information to how the change will impact Android phone users. The products and services at issue include Gmail, Google+, Youtube, and the Android mobile operating system. The congressional letter can be found here.
On January 31, 2012, Google responded, defending its decision by stating that its approach to privacy has not changed, that users still have control over how they use the company’s various online services, and that private information remains private. Google’s response can be found here (you may need to enable Google Docs first).
- On February 1, 2012, the FTC entered into a settlement with entities that marketed prepaid calling cards to immigrants. The defendants agreed to pay $2.32 million in order to resolve charges that they made false claims to consumers about the number of minutes of talk time their prepaid calling cards would deliver. The settlement is part of an ongoing FTC effort to address deceptive advertising and marketing practices in the prepaid calling card industry, which sells billions of dollars worth of cards a year, many of them to immigrants. More information is available here.