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Google books settlement 'breaches privacy rights'

9th September 2009

Authors have accused Google of being in breach of privacy rights over its plans to publish and sell millions of copies of books online.

The privacy rights of readers and authors are thought to be under threat from the proposed settlement of the publishing row, which has provoked controversy both in Europe and the US.

Over 20 authors and publishers have filed an objection, claiming that stronger safeguards are necessary to prevent the misuse of purchase and reading data.

Author Michael Chabon said: 'If there is no privacy of thought - which includes implicitly the right to read what one wants, without the approval, consent or knowledge of others - then there is no privacy, period.'

Google has yet to respond to this new claim, but in a post on the Google Public Policy Blog earlier this month, global privacy counsel Jane Horvath said that the internet giant understands 'that the privacy of reading records is especially important to readers and libraries'.

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