House Judiciary Member Wants Answers on Google Sharing

Johnson Says Giving Info to App Developers Could Be Problematic

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) is concerned enough about Google's data-sharing practices to have sent the company's founder a letter asking for some answers.

Johnson, a member of the Judiciary Committee, asked CEO Larry Page to detail the process of selling aps through Google Play, citing reports that it sends the names and addresses, physical and online, to ap developers.

Such sharing, says Johnson, "potentially threatens the physical and financial safety of consumers while chilling speech and criticism online." Johnson conceded that it was unclear how sensitive the shared information was, and that information sharing is part of online transactions generally, he said there were three problems with broadly sharing a physical address: physical harm to consumers and chilling speech, endangering children online, and personal information security.

Johnson has been collecting public input on mobile ap privacy concerns via his Apprights online initiative and says they have let him know they want more transparency, control, and security.

Google did not respond to a request for comment by press time.