Watchdog says Google has worst privacy policies

Google's privacy practices are the worst among the Internet's top destinations, according to a watchdog group statement quoted by an Associated Press report.

The Associated Press report said in a report, London-based Privacy International assigned Google its lowest possible grade.

The category is reserved for companies with 'comprehensive consumer surveillance and entrenched hostility to privacy,' the group said.

None of the 22 other surveyed companies, a group that included Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL, sunk to that level, according to Privacy International.

The report said while a number of other Internet companies have troubling policies, none comes as close to Google to 'achieving status as an endemic threat to privacy,' according to Privacy International.

In a statement from one of its lawyers, Google said it aggressively protects its users' privacy and stands behind its track record.

In its most conspicuous defense of user privacy, Google last year successfully fought a US Justice Department subpoena demanding to review millions of search requests.

'We are disappointed with Privacy International's report, which is based on numerous inaccuracies and misunderstandings about our services,' said Nicole Wong, Google's deputy general counsel was quoted by the Associated Press report as saying.

Privacy International contacted Google earlier this month, but didn't receive a response, said Simon Davies, the group's director.