Google does not specify how it manages privacy information about its users.
Even after a long battle with the European Commission and other regulators[iv] over how long the company could retain personal information, the new policy is silent on the issue, as it is on almost all other privacy aspects. Let ´s explain more in detail what is about.
Third, if a company has information about an individual coming from search engines, Google is not responsible of giving the right to see what data a company holds or asking for its correction or removal. (this responsibility lays with the creator of the content)[xi].
Fourthly, Google has indeed been collecting personal and private information without consent: through Street View[xii], it collected private details of people’s wifi networks by its camera cars, it tracks the movements of people using its Android smartphones[xiii] and, as probed in the wikileaks case, a Google-user may never even be told the information about him that have been delivered[xiv].
Is the man of the street aware of all of these? As the European Commission has stated[xv], if individuals agree on giving their data in full knowledge; understanding clearly privacy policies; and are informed about “who is using their data, in which way, and for what purposes, so they can make an informed choice” Google can manage privacy data and will be respecting the law in doing so.
Google has announced a new policy change[xvi] regarding user information effective on November 11th 2013, giving the company the right to use profile names, photos and comments alongside advertisements by clients who use its online advertising network of over 2 million websites.
Above all, the stem of the matter comes from the fact that Google`s huge reach across search, mobile, video, social networking and advertising makes its vast cache of information almost impossible for smaller or more focused rivals to compete against[xvii]. Opting out of Google is rather impossible.
[ii] “Google is watching you” Norman Davis, The Guardian, March, 1st 2012
[xii] Taken to the supreme court in Germany for invasion of privacy in 2011
[xiv] Even if Google does reveal information requested and given by different governments, if a subpoena is sealed, a user may never even be told their details have been handed over “Google Reveals Government Demands For Cloud Data” Robert Westervelt, CRN News, March 6th, 2013
October 18, 2013