Google Hostile To Privacy, Says Privacy International!

Jun 11, 2007 | 2,190 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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In an in-your-face report, London-based Privacy International slams Google Inc for being “hostile to privacy”.

The article called “A Race to the Bottom: Privacy Ranking of Internet Service Companies A Consultation report” says:

“We are aware that the decision to place Google at the bottom of the ranking is likely to be controversial, but throughout our research we have found numerous deficiencies and hostilities in Google's approach to privacy that go well beyond those of other organizations. While a number of companies share some of these negative elements, none comes close to achieving status as an endemic threat to privacy. This is in part due to the diversity and specificity of Google's product range and the ability of the company to share extracted data between these tools, and in part it is due to Google's market dominance and the sheer size of its user base. Google's status in the ranking is also due to its aggressive use of invasive or potentially invasive technologies and techniques. The view that Google "opens up" information through a range of attractive and advanced tools does not exempt the company from demonstrating responsible leadership in privacy. Google's increasing ability to deep-drill into the minutiae of a user's life and lifestyle choices must in our view be coupled with well defined and mature user controls and an equally mature privacy outlook. Neither of these elements has been demonstrated. Rather, we have witnessed an attitude to privacy within Google that at its most blatant is hostile, and at its most benign is ambivalent. These dynamics do not pervade other major players such as Microsoft or eBay, both of which have made notable improvements to the corporate ethos on privacy issues”.

According to the study, "Microsoft is a better privacy performer than Google is also likely to be contentious. Microsoft was awarded "orange" (which denotes "Serious lapses in privacy practices") status, two bands better than Google's position (Black denotes "Comprehensive consumer surveillance & entrenched hostility to privacy"). However it is important, for the sake of clarity, to note that Windows Live Space received the more negative "red" rating(denotes "Substantial and comprehensive privacy threats"), while Google's Orkut avoided a black rating and was awarded red status."

This is not the first time the Human Rights Advocacy group and the Search engine company has battled each other. As, on 19th April, 2004 Privacy International had filed a suit against Google Inc as "Gmail service violates privacy law, both in Europe and in other countries". Simon Davies the Director of Privacy International writes an Open letter to Eric Schmidt, CEO Google Inc demanding an apology.

So far, Google Inc has not given a response to the article. For more the article is available at Privacy International.

4.thumbnail Google Hostile To Privacy, Says Privacy International!

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
4.thumbnail Google Hostile To Privacy, Says Privacy International!
4.thumbnail Google Hostile To Privacy, Says Privacy International!