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Google Flunks Privacy Ranking June 12, 2007

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Advertising, News.
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Google’s press honeymoon is over as an Internet watchdog pans the online search leader for having the worst privacy practices among the Web’s top destinations. London-based Privacy International says other Internet companies have troubling policies, but none comes close to Google in handling users’ personal information.

Google ranked worst for “comprehensive consumer surveillance and entrenched hostility to privacy.” Of the 22 companies surveyed, none received top grade. Five were rated “generally privacy-aware” – BBC, eBay, Last, LiveJournal, and Wikipedia.

The report is another strike at Google’s privacy practices. An independent European panel recently raised concerns about how Google uses and manages search data. And the US Federal Trade Commission is under pressure to investigate the potential threat posed by Google’s planned acquisition of DoubleClick, an online ad service which also tracks surfer behavior.

Google says it stockpiles data to help its search engine better understand users to deliver more relevant results and advertisements. In a move to placate critics, it has pledged to begin erasing information about users’ search requests within 18 to 24 months.

Privacy International is troubled by Google’s ability to match its search data with information collected from other services such as e-mail, instant messaging and maps. The watchdog reached its interim findings after a six-month review of Internet privacy practices mostly in the US and UK.

Taking the report to task, Google says it stands by its track record and slammed Privacy International for publishing the report before the company had a chance to discuss its practices. In a brewing mutual smear campaign, Privacy Internaional posted a statement accusing Google of embarking on a move to discredit the group and its report.

See my post on WEB TIPS for a way to search the Internet with more anonymity.

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Comments»

1. correlate - June 16, 2007

There’s Contextual, And There’s Exact

I had an interesting experience with Google Gmail usage today. For those who do not know me, I am not one to jump on the privacy issues surrounding Google right now. This isn’t the first time I noticed the contextual nature of their sponsored …


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