Web search leader Google Inc.'s commitment to consumer privacy came under fire from Privacy International, a British activist group that has previously singled out Google for criticism.
The London-based group released a report on Saturday entitled "A Race to the Bottom - Privacy Ranking of Internet Service Companies" that rates Google, alone among 20 sites, as having an "entrenched hostility to privacy."
With each search on Google, the company gathers information about a customer's tastes, interests and beliefs that could potentially be used by third parties such as advertisers. But the company says it never passes on personal data.
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