The letter was in response to one that several lawmakers, including Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), chairman of the House subcommittee on oversight and investigations, and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, sent to Google chief executive Larry Page last week.
Google director of Public Policy Pablo Chavez said that, for signed-in users, the policy expands on provisions that allowed the company to share user account information between services, and adds in integration with a user’s Web and YouTube history.
In answering specific questions from lawmakers, however, the company said that it is not possible to use Google services that require a log in without consenting to the information sharing practices.
The company suggested that users could set up multiple accounts to manage multiple facets of their life (work, personal, etc.) if they do not want certain information shared across services.
The letter also addressed some concerns about teen privacy. The company highlighted that its services target teens with “in-product guidance” on how to protect privacy, and set defaults for privacy to “more conservative settings.” It also mentioned specific policies meant to shield teens from inappropriate contact.
For example, the letter says: “If a teenager is using the Hangouts feature...and a stranger outside of a teen’s circles joins the Handout, we temporarily remove the young adult and give him or her a chance to rejoin.”
Google declined to answer questions about whether it was planning to further integrate data from its services. “We are not prepared to make any specific product or feature announcements yet that might involve the future integration of data across products or services,” Chavez wrote.