Web Net

SAN FRANCISCO, June 20, 2006 (AFP) – Fresh from a fight with US officials over the sanctity of online search information, Google on Tuesday joined an alliance of technology firms calling for federal legislation protecting consumer privacy. “Today we live in a digital economy where both beneficial and potentially harmful uses of personal information are multiplying,” said a statement from the Consumer Privacy Legislative Forum, whose roster includes such technology powerhouses as Microsoft, Intel, Oracle, Sun Microsystems and Hewlett Packard.

“The time has come for a serious process to consider comprehensive harmonized federal privacy legislation to create a simplified, uniform but flexible legal framework” for protecting consumers, it said.

“The legislation should provide protection for consumers from inappropriate collection and misuse of their personal information and also enable legitimate businesses to use information to promote economic and social value.”

Google counsel Nicole Wong said Tuesday in a blog posting on the Google website that the company joined a group of “notable US companies” calling for federal consumer privacy legislation.

There was a “patchwork quilt” of US state consumer protection laws that varied de