Former FTC Employee Files Complaint Over Google Privacy

The Wall Street Journal


Mr. Soghoian cited in his complaint several instances in which he says Google stopped transmitting search terms to third-party sites via referrer headers, but worked to restore the data after receiving complaints from search-engine optimization consultants. Search-engine optimization, or SEO, involves making sure that websites and advertisers are ranked high in search results.

It’s unclear whether the FTC will consider Mr. Soghoian’s complaint to be a strong one, said Chris Jay Hoofnagle, director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology’s information-privacy programs. “I think what is interesting about his complaint is not the legal theory. It’s the machinations and the colloquy between Google and advertisers that no normal person would ever know about,” he said.