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Public Interest Research Center Files Complaint Against Google's New Search Results

Google continues to be inundated with complaints over its new search feature, Search Plus Your World. The Los Angeles Times reports that the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington-based public interest research center, filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission on January 12 over the new feature, saying it invades the privacy of users while shutting out rivals.

Launched earlier this week, Search Plus Your World makes it possible for users to search the web and find personal content, photos, conversations, and profiles from Google +. However, critics of Search Plus Your World say that not everyone wants personal content appearing in search results, and, moreover, that Google is featuring personal content from its own social network over competitors. According to the article, Twitter has already complained that its content was "pushed down" in search rankings due to Google's new personalized search experience.

Google is not unaccustomed to dealing with scrutiny from groups of its products and services. The tech giant is already being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission over antitrust accusations, and faces scrutiny in Brussels, and Washington. And as if that wasn't enough, Tech Crunch reported on January 13 that a Kenyan startup, Mocality, is accusing Google of purposely engaging in unlawful practices to "undermine their business and grow theirs."

Google has not yet responded to accusations from the Electronic Privacy Information Center or Mocality. The company

- Melanie Saxe

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Jan 13, 2012