Organizaciones de consumidores de todo el mundo han expresado su preocupación por el cambio de políticas de privacidad de Google, algo que muchos ven como otro paso más en la erosión de la privacidad en la era digital. Los cambios, que entrarán en vigor en todo el mundo desde el 1 de marzo, permitirán a Google hacer un seguimiento de sus usuarios registrados a través de una amplia gama de productos incluyendo su motor de búsqueda, YouTube, Gmail y Blogger.

El Diálogo Transatlántico de los Consumidores ( TACD, en inglés) una coalición de grupos de defensa del consumidor de Estados Unidos y la Unión Europea, coordinado por Consumers International, ha enviado una carta al máximo titular de Google pidiendo a la gigante de búsquedas suspender sus controvertidos cambios de su política de privacidad.

La carta del TACD pide al CEO de Google, Larry Page, “suspender su plan de modificar a partir del 1 de marzo los términos de los servicios para los usuarios de los servicios de Google… [ya que] es injusto e imprudente cambiar los términos de la oferta “, como ustedes lo proponen”.

La carta esboza las preocupaciones del TACD: “ustedes proponen combinar los datos de todos sus servicios, datos proporcionados por los usuarios en contextos muy diferentes y por razones muy diferentes, en un único perfil, sin consentimiento del usuario y sin ninguna oportunidad significativa para que los usuarios opten por la negativa (opt-out)”.

El Programa de Consumers International sobre los Derechos del Consumidor y Representación hace un llamado para que los desafíos modernos a la privacidad y al acceso se reflejen plenamente en las Directrices de las Naciones Unidas para la Protección del Consumidor. Estas Directrices no han experimentado ningún cambio en esta área desde su adopción en 1985, trece años antes del lanzamiento de Google.

Carta a Larry Page, Google, Inc.

Dear Mr. Page,

We are writing to you on behalf of the Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD), a coalition of the leading consumer organizations in North America and Europe, to ask you simply and directly to suspend your March 1 plan to modify the terms of services for users of Google services. Our organizations have represented the interests of consumers on the Internet since before your company was founded. In policy recommendations that TACD has made to our governments and businesses, we have advocated for respect for privacy and the rights of consumers to control the collection and use of their personal information. Google’s plan flies in the face of these recommendations.

It is both unfair and unwise for you to “change the terms of the bargain” as you propose to do. For the last several years, consumers in North America and Europe have helped make Google the most successful Internet company in the world. Consumers have supported your products with the revenue that their interests create for you and your advertisers. Google’s services have been adopted in schools, businesses, and organizations. And consumers have relied on your policies and your terms of services in choosing your products.

Over this time, you have also acquired a great deal of consumers’ personal information. You record virtually every event of a Google user, in far more detail than consumers understand. We were alarmed to learn recently that the privacy settings in Internet browsers, including Safari and Explorer, have been purposely sidestepped. And we have become increasingly aware that services such as Street View may be operating in violation of many laws around the world.

Consumers in Europe, Canada, and Mexico have had the benefit of privacy law and privacy agencies. Consumers in the United States rely on a patchwork structure, including the US Federal Trade Commission, to protect their interests. And Internet users around the world rely on the integrity of your company, and on you, to do the right thing. Their eyes are all on you.

On March 1, you propose to combine data from all of your services, provided by your users in very different contexts and for very different reasons, into a single profile without user consent and without any meaningful opportunity for users to opt-out. This move has been widely criticized by US lawmakers, US Attorneys General, European lawmakers, European privacy officials, technical experts, and privacy organizations. The President of the French CNIL, on behalf of European privacy agencies, has said this week that the change will violate European Union data protection law.

Going forward with this plan will be a mistake. We ask you to reconsider.

Sincerely,

Susan Grant, Consumer Federation of America

Thomas Nortvedt, Norwegian Consumer Council

Co-chairs, TACD Information Society Policy Committee

REFERENCE DOCUMENTS

TACD, “Resolution on Behavioral advertising” (June 2011)

tacd.org/index2.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_view&gid=298&Itemid=40

TACD, “Resolution on Social Networking” (May 2010)

http://tacd.org/index2.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_view&gid=265&Itemid=40

TACD, “Resolution on Defending Consumer Rights and Fair Business Practices in the Digital Environment” (April 2010)

tacd.org/index2.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_view&gid=261&Itemid=40