Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Google: "We Protect Your Privacy" (attention, fiction)
“Here at Google, we take our user’s privacy very seriously. In fact, we’re not even allowing ourselves to joke about this topic – yes, it’s that serious. To give you an idea, here is some of the data we don’t pass on to anyone outside our 10,000+ employee company (provided there’s no subpoena making us pass it on, and provided there’s nothing we define as “imminent harm
“; and even if we pass something on, we make sure third parties have privacy policies like ours):
- Your registration confirmation containing the information on sites you signed up for, and the password you’ve chosen. It is safe with us in Gmail.
- Your web search history containing your dreams and wishes, and the one time you googled your ex – these are all protected by us.
- The Google Toolbar URL data transmitted to us in case you enabled PageRank checking. We keep this very safe at Google.
- The love messages you sent via Google Talk in June using the off-the-record option. Googlers won’t tell a thing!
- The sites you clicked on in Google results, especially those sites (you know what we mean). Quiet like a fish.
- Your private information which you provided to social network Orkut. It’s completely safe with Google.
- The kind of sites you visit which contain AdSense or (soon) DoubleClick ads. We value your privacy with this data.
- The things you bought using Google Checkout, including that strange DVD from March 14th, 3:30pm. Our employee’s lips are sealed on that one, and your credit card number is safe with Checkout.
- The content of the confidential company memo you saved in Google Docs, the one about the new direction your company wants to take. Trust us, it’s our secret too now.
- The Hotmail email you send to someone who has a Gmail account. We don’t let others read those!
- Your Google Spreadsheet with your income and taxes since 1999. Our employees won’t share with anyone!
- Your Google Presentation containing those hush-hush product releases for next year. No kiss and tell.
- The one time you researched bomb building on Google Groups. We turn a blind eye on that one, perhaps you researched for a friend.
- Your embarrassing party pics of your private Picasa album titled “spring_break”. We understand what it could mean to your future employer, so no word on it from us.
- The content of your Blogspot blog in which you go through great efforts to post anonymously, as the diary-style is quite telling. No sir, no one will find out.
- That email you were typing but then canceled, which we had transmitted to our server thanks to Gmail’s Ajax auto-saving. We know you didn’t want that to share, so we won’t either!
- Every single sentence you translated in the Google Translator. Every single one is safe with us.
- The sites you visited while installing the Google Web Accelerator proxy. We don’t want to share them, really.
- Those random notes you’ve been collecting at our Google Notebook service. Like Fort Knox.
- The one time you searched for “Falun Gong” on Google.cn. Our support person responding to the Chinese government knows that might have just been an accident.
- The restaurant you looked up in Google Maps last night, and the calendar entry you then added, and the subsequent mail you wrote to Susan. Shhh....
- The Google Page Creator draft of your new homepage which you then decided to trash fearing your neighbor would object to your political views. Secret, we promise!
As you can see – and we don’t think we need to offer additional proof for this other than our word, like the time we said we “don’t do evil” and then never did evil – all your data is safe with us and our employees. Again, except for those subpoeanas (and assuming we will not be hacked, and that no service exploits will be found), but to quote from our PDF on the subject of log retention which we linked from our blog ...
How many subpoenas for server log data does Google receive each year?
As a matter of policy, we don’t provide specifics on law enforcement requests to Google.
... you can see we don’t even share info on what we’re sharing – we’re that privacy aware! In fact, we urge you to increase your trust with us if there’s still a doubt lingering with you. Because, in the words of our chief executive officer Eric Schmidt this year:
We are very early in the total information we have within Google.
We cannot even answer the most basic questions because we don’t know enough about you. That is the most important aspect of Google’s expansion.
Please visit our new Google Privacy Channel at YouTube to find out more. We won’t tell anyone which videos you watched. Unless they’re really funny ones. (Kidding!!!)”
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