Google faces FTC complaint over new search feature.

GoogleA privacy watchdog group perhaps will complain to the US Federal Trade Commission that a latest Google search feature raises privacy and antitrust worries.

Electronic Privacy Information Center made the complaint that resulted in Google’s settlement with the FTC that involves the Internet search giant to submit to external audits of their privacy practices every other year.

Executive director of the EPIC, Marc Rotenberg said that his group is considering filing a letter with the FTC.

Critics contend Google, a straggler in social networking, is using its supremacy in Internet search to favour its own products and take on its chief competitor. Critics also say the move lifts alarm bells for consumer privacy.

EPIC said in a note on his website “Although data from a user’s Google+ contact is not displayed publicly; Google’s changes make the personal data of users more accessible.”

Twitter has also criticized about the new Google search feature. Thus far, Facebook has stayed out of the fray, declining to comment.

When a user is logged into Google or Google+, Google will now plug information from Google+ and photos from its photo-sharing service Picasa, to deliver personalized search results. In the future, it will also include other Google services.

Google has tried to allay privacy concerns by switching to technology that encrypts all of its search results.

Rotenberg says the FTC needs to go further to protect consumer privacy on the Web.

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