Congress and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, are urging the FTC–in the case of the EPIC trying to sue–to get it to take action to block the change. While the FTC has decried Google's policy—calling it a brutal choice for consumers—the agency has not indicated it will not take definitive action against Google. A federal judge dismissed EPIC's suit, which the group is now appealing the ruling.
More recently 36 state attorneys general have written to Google protesting the change and dismissing its key argument—namely that users can opt out by canceling their accounts. "It rings hollow to call their ability to exit the Google products ecosystem a “choice” in an Internet economy where the clear majority of all Internet users use – and frequently rely on – at least one Google product on a regular basis," the letter said.
The Power of User Revolt
It is safe to guess when the changes do sink in, many consumers will not be pleased.
9 in 10 Americans Concerned About Online Privacy
Consumer concern for online privacy is at a significantly high level, according to the Q1 2012 TRUSTe Privacy Index, which shows that 90% of US adults worry about their privacy online. Although a plurality (46%) of survey respondents indicate the frequency of their online privacy worries to be just occasional, 23% say they always worry about their privacy online, with a further 21% saying they frequently worry. Southerners, 45-54-year-olds, and divorcees are those most likely to frequently or always worry about their privacy.
In addition, 41% of adults do not trust businesses with their personal information, while half only somewhat agree with the statement that they trust most companies with their personal information online.