Saturday, June 16, 2007

Privacy Watchdog Tags Google Worst on Web

As you have probably noticed, a UK-based group called Privacy International has ranked Google dead last among a dozen major Internet-based companies in terms of protecting users' privacy: Privacy Watchdog Tags Google Worst on Web.

The sheer size of Google, coupled with the company's ability to share user data between its various subsidiaries, led Privacy International to bestow the [dubious] distinction on the Net's biggest search engine.
This rank ranking might also have had a tiny bit to do with the fact that Privacy International seems to have a really bad relationship with Google. PI is the same organization that put out a press release in 2004 headed "Privacy watchdog vows to bring Gmail to heel." Perhaps not surprising then that PI has not been able to have much of a conversation with Google (which it sued in 16 countries). When PI asserts that Google has an “entrenched hostility to privacy,” one wonders if PI doesn't have an entrenched hostility to Google.

I doubt PI have won any friends within Google with this headline-grabbing "worst of the worst" verdict. Yet one does wonder what exactly Google thinks about privacy. You can get some fascinating insight over at Ray Everett-Church's Privacy Clue.

And I doubt that consumers in general will be avoiding Google in droves because of what PI says. After all, as stated in my last post, consumers are more concerned about “environmental issues, followed by pension and other retirement benefits, and health care.”

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