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EPIC Complains To The FTC About Google Cloud

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What is secure? That’s the question at the heart of a complaint filed with the US Federal Trade Commission by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) about Google’s cloud services.

According to the complaint, Google doesn’t live up to its promise that information stored on its servers is secure. The cloud services – Gmail, Google Docs, Google Desktop, Picasa Web Albums and Google Calendar – are, according to Google “stored securely online.”

But EPIC says, Google’s Terms of Service "explicitly disavow any warranty or any liability for harm that might result from Google’s negligence, recklessness, mal intent, or even purposeful disregard, of existing legal obligations to protect the privacy and security of user data."

The biggest issue would seem to be that the data isn’t encrypted. So when there have been breaches, most recently earlier this month, data has been lost.

EPIC has asked the FTC to review Google’s privacy safeguards and service terms. What it wants is for Google to be forced to tell people about any data breaches, and that the FTC will put a halt to Google’s cloud services "until safeguards are verifiably established." Finally, it was Google to put $5m a public fund to support research into several things, including data anonymization and mobile location privacy.