Saturday, September 15, 2007

Google on International Internet Privacy Standards


Google Calls for International Standards on Internet Privacy and has taken some lumps from privacy advocates which may not be justifiable - YET. The linked Washington post article above quotes comments from Google's global privacy counsel, Peter Fleischer where he makes a case for a standards body to set and enforce privacy rules internationally.

Not a bad idea, especially if European standards are incorporated into that mix. But the fact is that Google is very likely to be making this call for international privacy standards simply to deflect concerns about their DoubleClick acquisition when a decision is made by the FTC.

I recently ran across the video below at the VortexDNA Blog. It is a whiteboard discussion of Google Privacy Policy by senior search engineer Maile Ohye - which makes no direct mention of major public concerns - but somehow manages to calm fears - even if you are a bit sceptical of the safety or your private information under current Google privacy practices.

All I can say to this issue is that Google has proven themselves trustworthy so far and has suffered no major data losses or privacy gaffes. This call for international privacy standards from Google appears at a time when they are under scrutiny for the DoubleClick acquisition and after Ask announced the "Ask Eraser" product which will allow any user to completely wipe out their search history and delete all information already gathered and opt out of future data gathering by Ask. Google and all other search engines should consider adopting the Ask Eraser model. Although right now it is all talk and little action by Ask as it is simply a promised product and not a reality.

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posted by RealitySEO at 7:58 PM

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