2012 News Releases

Attorney General Schmidt asks Google to revise privacy policy

Release Date: Feb 22, 2012

TOPEKA – (February 22, 2012) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today joined with attorneys general from 30 other states and 5 territories in asking Google to revise its new privacy policy to better protect the personal data of its users.

In a letter to Google CEO Larry Page, the attorneys general expressed several concerns with the new privacy policy, especially the sharing of users’ data between Google services.

“Until now, users of Google’s many products could use different products in different ways, expecting that information they provide for one product, such as YouTube, would not be synthesized with information they provide for another product, such as Gmail and Maps,” the attorneys general wrote. “The new policy forces these consumers to allow information across all of these products to be shared, without giving them the proper ability to opt out.”

Schmidt and his colleagues emphasized that given Google’s dominant presence online and with Android smartphones, many – if not most – users would have difficulty opting out of Google’s privacy policy by using another service. Additionally, many government and educational institutions have begun using Google services, and this new policy sparks concerns about the security of information in these systems.

The attorneys general requested that Google revise its policy to allow users to opt-in to the new privacy policy and determine for themselves how they want their data shared among Google’s services. This revision would be in compliance with Google’s commitment under its previous policy not to reduce users’ privacy rights without their explicit consent.


Read the letter.

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.