“We are concerned that Google’s new policy may threaten the ability of each user to keep certain aspects of their online history private,” Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said in a statement. “Today, the threat of identity theft is everywhere and we want to ensure that Google provides appropriate protection by giving consumers meaningful choices in determining how and when they share their personal information.”
Under the new policy, Google will be able to combine user information from all of its products, including YouTube, without consumers being able to opt out - unless they cancel their accounts.
The attorneys general told Google that by collecting so much personal information, the company is leaving users far more vulnerable to identity theft.
They noted the new Google policy will make Android phone users particularly vulnerable since they operate on a Google-based platform.
Here's the list of states and territories that signed the letter: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, and Washington.
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About the author
Mitch Lipka is one of America's leading consumer journalists and advocates. He is an expert in product safety, recalls, scams, and helping consumers get out of jams. He is a nationally known consumer columnist and runs TheConsumerChronicle.com. He lives in Worcester. You can find him on Facebook or reach him at ConsumerNews@Aol.com