|Weekly News Digest
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Advocacy Groups Ask for Privacy Guarantees in Google Book Search
Three privacy advocacy groups have written a letter to Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO of Google, Inc., expressing their concerns over reader privacy and Google Book Search (www.eff.org/files/gbs_privacy_schmidt_letter.pdf). The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at Berkeley Law School wrote the joint letter dated July 23 because of their "strong support for increased access to books for all people and our grave concern that in designing Google Book Search, [Google is] leaving the crucial component of reader privacy behind."
As Google awaits U.S. District Court approval for its proposed class action settlement with publishers-the hearing is now scheduled for Oct. 7 (http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/Spotlight/Update-on-the-Google-Book-Settlement-54998.asp) -the groups urged Google to "assure Americans that Google will maintain the security and freedom that library patrons have long had to read and learn about anything from politics to health to science without worrying that someone is looking over their shoulder or could retrace their steps."
The letter specified four efforts that must be included "at a minimum":
- Protection against disclosure
- Limited tracking
- User control
- User transparency
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
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