Does Google Have Its Head in the Sand on Privacy?

Lora Bentley

Wow. The Google officials in charge of privacy must really have guts. Either that or they have their heads in the sand.


When privacy regulators from 10 different countries get together to send a joint letter expressing their concerns about your company's lack of regard for user privacy, I'd venture to say you should do more in response than repeat the same five "principles" that got you into trouble in the first place.


ReadWriteWeb reports:

Google's response does little to address the primary concerns put forth in that original letter, but reads more like a public relations form-letter on the company's privacy practices...The letter then points to Google Dashboard as one of Google's "industry-leading tools to provide users with greater transparency and control."

But the regulators didn't ask Google to reiterate how it approaches privacy, to explain how it tries to give users control of their information, or even to admit that there were serious problems with the Google Buzz release. Google did all those things, but the regulators wrote their letter after those things had been done or put in place, so obviously they weren't satisfied with what had been done to that point.


It's true that the United States doesn't have online privacy laws in place yet, but they are coming. And several of the other countries whose representatives signed the letter do have laws in place - laws far more strict than what the U.S. Congress is contemplating.


If Google doesn't respond to their satisfaction, those countries are going to do a whole lot more than write a letter.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
May 29, 2010 12:17 PM David Kaye David Kaye  says:

Everyone is forgeting about why arpanet was conceived.

Shout at the neighbour across the street through an open window and they might save you if you need help.  Some other neighbour might hear that shout and think something else.

I don't think you can bash the guys that leave that in place while providing extra worth.  The arm chair QBs seem to like the no risk option of being talking heads.


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