Saturday, September 5, 2009

Privacy Group Asks to Join Google Book Lawsuit As Deadline Approaches;, 9/4/09

Ryan Singel via; Privacy Group Asks to Join Google Book Lawsuit As Deadline Approaches:

"A key privacy group is seeking to intervene in the ongoing copyright lawsuit over Google’s plan to build the library and bookstore of the future, arguing that reader privacy is at risk no matter how much Google promises to have a good privacy policy.

EPIC, or the Electronic Privacy Information Center, asked federal court judge Denny Chin on Friday to allow it to formally intervene on behalf of readers’ privacy interests in the suit pitting Google against the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers. The motion comes just a day after Google finally released a draft privacy policy for the Book Search program, bowing to pressure (.pdf) from the FTC.

Epic president Marc Rotenberg, a privacy policy enforcement expert, says privacy policies exist mainly to let companies to do what they want to with your data and that they don’t protect users from prying law enforcement agencies.

“Even if Google would write it in blood, there is still the obvious problem that when the government comes knocking the policy doesn’t mean anything,” Rotenberg said.

That’s why the judge in the case needs to make privacy rules part of the settlement, he argues.

If through the settlement, you limited the collection of some reader data, then when the government comes, the data is just not there,” he said...

Friday was supposed to be the final deadline for authors to opt-out of the settlement or for outsiders to register their support or dissent with the court. But due to a problem with the Manhattan federal court’s computers, the deadline was be extended until Tuesday."

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