June 10, 2007
More Google Privacy Concerns
It's an odd thing about privacy. Whenever you seem to raise the topic in Silicon Valley, people respond with a passing, "Do consumers really care?" response. Bringing it up seems like a faux pas at times. Perhaps consumers don't care as much as we think they should or could, but its a growing issue and people will start to realize this the more they share on the web, whether its personal or professional data through a social network, blog or photo site.
AP recently reported that Google's privacy practices "are the worst among the Internet's top destinations, according to a watchdog group seeking to intensify the recent focus on how the online search leader handles personal information about its users.
Privacy International gave Google its lowest possible grade. The category is reserved for companies with "comprehensive consumer surveillance and entrenched hostility to privacy." They also noted that none of the 22 other surveyed companies - "a group that included Yahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp. and AOL - sunk to that level."
The article also notes that Google "has pledged to begin erasing the information about users' search requests within 18 to 24 months." Hmmmmm, why nearly two years to start erasing that data? What happens to it between now and then?
The counter argument sits on Search Engine Land, with LOTS of juicy comments debating the issue.
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