A BUS LOAD of US state attorneys general have written a joint letter to Google's CEO Larry Page about the changes the company is making to user privacy policies.
The 32 attorneys, known collectively as the National Association of Attorneys General, want to meet with Larry Page as soon as possible to express their concerns over changes that will see a user's separate Google services accounts merged into one.
They write that Google, and its products such as Youtube, have a diverse range of users that might not want to share their personal data across its whole portfolio, and warn that after the changes they could find themselves forced to stop using their preferred applications or web services in order to cease sharing data across the rest.
This will not only not apply to individuals but to larger organisations as well. And the attorneys warn that Google could risk losing important applications customers.
"This invasion of privacy will be costly for many users to escape. For users who rely on Google products for their business - a use that Google has actively promoted - avoiding this information sharing may mean moving their entire business over to different platforms, reprinting any business cards or letterhead that contained Gmail addresses, re-training employees on web-based sharing and calendar services, and more," they add.
"The problem is compounded for the many federal, state, and local government agencies that have transitioned to Google Apps."
They go on, warning that for Android users the changes are likely to be much worse. Here they say that consumers might be forced into "buying an entirely new phone at great personal expense", just because Google decided to change its stance on privacy.
Google has consistently defended the changes, and we have asked it to respond to this letter.
"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."
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