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Google’s Website Privacy Principles

By October 13, 2011October 17th, 2011Internet Lawyer

Why did Google post its website privacy principles online?

In a time where governments, privacy watch groups, and concerned individuals worry about the capability large internet companies have to store information about their users, Google has posted its website privacy principles online.

Specific concerns have existed concerning Google’s policy of not deleting any of the searches made by users on its websites. Though Google has claimed that data storage is done only to enhance Google’s effectiveness, some worry that Google could abuse that data in the future. By posting a list of website privacy principles, Google has shown to governments, potential investors, and individuals that it intends to abide by all privacy laws, and to act in the most transparent way possible to preserve the privacy interests of all of its users.

What do the website privacy principles say?

Google starts out by claiming that it intends to use data it collects on individuals to provide those individuals with the best experience possible. This could include focusing advertisements to individuals according to what their specific interests and desires are. Google further afbusinesss that website privacy should not concern users as it pledges to adhere to its company policy to ‘not be evil’ and use private information in only appropriate ways.

Google has further claimed that it intends to allow users to, as transparently as possible, view how personal information is used by Google. Google feels that if users simply are able to understand the very mild nature in which information is used, they will not worry as much about Google abusing that information. Google claims this, in part, will be done by the development of the appropriate technologies, which allow Google the best information in the least invasive way possible.

What else does the website privacy information suggest?

A major crux of Google’s privacy principles seems to be Google’s offering to make available several different options for users to customize their own privacy controls. Google feels that such controls will allow users to personally determine how much of their information is stored, and how much of their information remains anonymous. Google claims that its privacy preservation technologies will allow users to make ‘meaningful, fine grain choices’ in regard to how much personal information Google will have access to using.

Perhaps this new move by Google in posting its privacy policy is little more than an attempt to please consumers. Perhaps, however, the move to publish privacy settings serves to please users while still maintaining that Google has some right to control the information its users display on its websites. Regardless, this step by Google will certainly make at least some concerned website privacy advocates at least a small amount more comfortable with companies and their ability to monitor and preserve data over the internet.

Mike Young, Esq.

Author Mike Young, Esq.

Mike Young has been practicing business and technology law since 1994 and is an angel investor in startups. He's been an entrepreneur since 1988. To get legal help from Attorney Young, click here now or call 214-546-4247 to schedule a phone consultation.

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