Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Hawley subpoenas Google, says Missouri is not giving company a "free pass"

Hawley subpoenas Google, says Missouri is not giving company a

Josh Hawley, a Republican seeking to unseat Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill in next year's elections, announced at a press conference that he issued an investigative subpoena to Google.

Hawley's office is checking into what Google does with the user information it collects and allegations that it inappropriately scrapes information from competitors' websites.

Hawley, who's running for U.S. Senate next year, is launching the investigation at a time when America's largest tech companies are facing considerable scrutiny from both parties for their position in both America's corporate and civic spheres.

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Attorney generals of 37 states reached a $7 million settlement in 2013 over Google's unauthorized collection of Wi-Fi data through its Street View digital-mapping cars.

The Federal Trade Commission has come to rely more heavily on states attorneys general for enforcement. He says the company will be held accountable and Missouri is not giving Google a free pass.

He said, however, that Google has "strong privacy protections in place for our users" and that it continues "to operate in a highly competitive and dynamic environment".

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In the announcement, Hawley's office emphasized the historic $2.7 billion in fines leveled by the European Union against Google for its anti-trust practices and a complaint filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center with the Federal Trade Commission on Google's consumer tracking practices.

"We're concerned they're engaged in a similar pattern of behavior in the United States", he told reporters.

Patrick Lenihan, a Google spokesman, declined to say how the company intends to respond to the subpoena because it has not received it yet.

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