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Privacy International gives Google lowest rank for privacy

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

Monday, June 11, 2007
13 years ago4,700 views

Privacy International's initial assessment of Google's Privacy policy as "Hostile to Privacy". Their justification of the ranking: "Track history of ignoring privacy concerns. Every corporate announcement involves some new practice involving surveillance. Privacy officer tries to reach out but no indication that this has any effect on product and service design or delivery"

The initial study covers 23 companies including: Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Yahoo, and eBay.

Privacy International overview:
privacyinternational.org/artic ...

Initial Rankings (PDF):

+ Show PDF



I'm sorry but when MySpace gets a better ranking on privacy than Google something seems fishy. I can't tell you how many articles I've read of someone getting their MySpace account hacked. How is that good privacy for a User's data?

What do you think about this study?

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Garett Rogers post somethin' about it, he is as dubious as you are
blogs.zdnet.com/Google/?p=604

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Yeah, It's definately flawed

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Search Engine Land has a great writeup on this:
searchengineland.com/070610-10 ...

Search-Engines-Web.com [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

[moved]

Who is right? You be the judge!

Accusations:
uk.reuters.com/article/interne ...

Response:
mattcutts.com/blog/privacy-int ...

hugepeter [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

nobody could really judge the right situation.

[Unrelated URL removed – Tony]

muellerduran [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

If google has given the lowest rank then who hs got the high rank.

[Unrelated URL removed – Tony]

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> If google has given the lowest rank
> then who hs got the high rank.

I can't spot anyone getting a "perfect" rating in the PDF (green, "privacy-friendly and privacy enhancing"), but several got a second-best rating (blue, "generally privacy-aware but in need of improvement"): BBC, eBay, Last.fm, LiveJournal, Wikipedia (hmm, Wikipedia publicly passes on the IPs of everyone who edits unregistered...). Google is the only one getting the "black" threat level... "comprehensive consumer surveillance & entrenched hostility to privacy". I just looked up the words "entrenched" and "hostility" – according to Privacy International Google has "a long, deeply-rooted tradition in being an enemy to privacy."

Matt Cutts [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Hey, I wanted to explain what happened with the url path (the "slug" in WordPress) vs. the actual title. I originally wrote a much angrier response (as you can tell from the url path), even after waiting a day to respond. I softened the title (and the post) later, but I completely forgot that I had entered the slug.

I clicked publish, then grabbed the url to mention to Scoble/Battelle, and slapped my forehead because I'd left the angry url path by mistake. I know from experience that yanking a post or changing the url messes up things like people who read my blog on iGoogle, so I decided to leave it. I do regret the angrier url path; chalk it up to doing the final publish after 1 a.m.

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Wikipedia, Livejournal, Last.fm, BBC and eBay all got the highest rankings of the group under "Generally Privacy Aware". Nobody got the highest possible

Google is sh*t [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

but i still use them.

SirNuke [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

The real question is whether an IP address should be considered private information. I personally say an IP address is generally should not be considered private information.

Their report seems to support "Google has the biggest opportunity for privacy infringments", yet they want to twist that into "Google is the biggest private threat to privacy". In my opinion, Google's score didn't result from a thought out, neutral discussion. The score is to make a point, which I believe eliminates any usefulness of their ranking system.

GT Staff [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

I am yet to read the report by Privacy International for the whole outlook about this, but taking Danny Sullivan's response, i'm looking at this as another example of picking on Google while giving the other search engines the free pass (it sucks to have the 64% search engine market share i guess). I tend to agree with his (Danny Sullivan's) comment that the "study" has been hastily researched with lots of "second-hand" information as its basis. Also, failing to have a standardized checklist for each company or service to fairly and objectively asses them side by side created another gaping hole in the study.

Mathias Schindler [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

At wikipedia, some of us are surprised to hear about PI's interim results. I sent them an Email, asking and offering additional information.

So far, their methodology does not convince me.

Mysterius [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

[put at-character here]Mathias Schindler: Any more dirt- er, details about PI's methodology?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

And as Colin posts...
blogoscoped.com/forum/98789.ht ...
... Google on another topic today announced some privacy/ data retention changes:
googleblog.blogspot.com/2007/0 ...

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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