| February 18, 2012, 12:56 PM

A consumer watchdog’s pleas to the Federal Trade Commission to scrutinize Google’s latest privacy policy changes have met with a curt “No, thanks.”

Last year, Google signed a consent decree with the commission, promising not to make changes to the information it made public about its users without their consent. Last week, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, known as EPIC, sued the Federal Trade Commission in Federal District Court in Washington, calling for it to investigate Google’s privacy policy changes.

On Friday, the agency responded by saying that EPIC has no legal standingin the matter. It asked the court to dismiss the case.

The agency’s response says nothing about the substance of the allegations. The agency reserves the right to scrutinize Google anyway and rule on whether it violated the consent decree it signed with the government last March. The F.T.C.’s court filing late Friday simply tells the consumer group to mind its own business.

In an e-mail statement, the agency said: “We are asking the court to dismiss the case because parties such as EPIC are barred by law from interfering with the proper investigation and enforcement of F.T.C. orders.”

Google has said it will combine the user data it collects from all of its different products, in effect compiling what an individual searches on Google with what is posted on YouTube, Google Plus and other Google properties. Google has aggressively been flagging the changes to its customers. The company insists that does not violate its agreement with the government.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/18/f-t-c-tells-consumer-watch...





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