FTC Stories December 2, 2015

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Privacy campaigners the Electronic Frontier Foundation have filed a formal complaint with the FTC, claiming that Google “deceptively tracks students’ Internet browsing.” They say that Google is in breach of the Student Privacy Pledge the search giant signed back in January. Once Google signed, the terms became legally binding on the company.

The EFF says that one issue is with Chrome Sync, a feature designed to enable users to work with the same bookmarks, logins and other data across devices. Chrome Sync is currently switched on by default on Chromebooks sold to schools, and the EFF says that Google collects this data and uses it for other purposes …  expand full story

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The YouTube Kids app, launched in February to provide access to family-friendly videos on both Android and iOS, has been accused by around a dozen consumer groups of being “deceptive to children” in the way it mixes ads into programming. The NY Times reports that a formal complaint to the Federal Trade Commission is expected to be filed today.

[The complaint] argues, in essence, that YouTube is using advertising tactics like “host selling” – having cartoon characters sell products inside their show – that would be illegal if they were on television instead of online.

The groups argue that the app should be held to the same standards that apply to TV shows …  expand full story

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Reuters reports that the plaintiffs in an antitrust lawsuit against Google have finally withdrawn their case. The case, which was brought against Google nearly a year ago, accused the company of being anticompetitive with several of its Search and Android practices.

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According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the European Commission is preparing to file antitrust charges against Google. The charges come after a five-year long investigation that’s stalled three times and caused strong political divides in Europe.

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