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Blumenthal Likely to Raise Scrutiny of Online Privacy

The online privacy issue is likely to get big-time
scrutiny on both sides of the aisle in the next Congress.

In addition to the declaration of possible future
Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) that online
privacy would be "in the crosshairs," Tuesday night's election
brought Democrat Richard Blumenthal to the Senate.

Blumenthal, who defeated WWE CEO Linda
McMahon, is the Connecticut Attorney General who has been heading up a
multi-state investigation into Google's collection of data through its Street
View initiative.

While the Federal Trade Commission closed its
investigation into the data collection, which Google said had been inadvertent,
Blumenthal last week said the states were not following suit.

"Google's alarming admission last week --
confirming it collected entire emails and passwords -- only heightened our
concerns about how and why this data was collected," said Blumenthal in an
Oct. 27 statement
"Google's story has changed during the course of our multistate
investigation -- demonstrating the need for sustained scrutiny. Rather than
rely on Google's explanations and assurances, our multistate coalition, led by
Connecticut, will work to confirm the facts about how this happened and how
consumers will be protected going forward."

"Senator Blumenthal could have more experience
with, and concern about, Google's serial disrespect for privacy than any other
U.S. Senator," said Precursor Group President Scott Cleland, one
of the Google's strongest critics.

Barton is concerned about, among other things, thesharing of user IDs from Facebook with data brokers and ad networks.