Google’s (absent) reader privacy policy

The following link is an opinion piece that brings attention to Google’s lack of policy towards readers’ privacy. Google uses the personal info collected from individuals in a variety of ways, including performance of equipment, advertisement, and distribution to third-parties.

In my previous post, I had mentioned the report by the Common Data Project that compared the privacy policies of 10 major web sites. Google was mentioned several times for a lack of protection of individuals’ personal information, even though the Google policy states that they will protect this data.

The author of the blog entry “Don’t Let Google Close the Book on Reader Privacy” says that the ACLU sent a letter to Google demanding they protect readers rights to read in privacy, or share info about users without permission from the individual.

To be fair, Google has left the door open on privacy in order to provide flexibility for current and new services. With most dynamic web sites in the Web 2.0 culture however, flexibility is a necessity to survive the fierce competition of mash-up services that utilize third-party resources (as well as a possible fiscal resource). From a business perspective, their rational makes sense and is understandable, but it does not change the fact that there is concern over the private info that is collected and circulated among Google and its constituents (e.g. third-parties).

Read more from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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About repplinger

John has served as a Reference Librarian at Willamette University since 2002. He is the liaison to the Science Departments, and is responsible for maintaining the collections related to the life & physical sciences. His research interests range over the entire spectrum of libraries and information sciences, but includes: - Google and its influence on information & society - The Internet's influence on information seeking & sharing behaviors - Trends of scholarly communication - Electronic learning environments - Traditional pedagogy - GIS use in academic libraries

Posted on July 30, 2009, in Google, Privacy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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