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Google: We Can Be Trusted With Your Data

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 57 comments

Google's CEO says people wouldn't use Google if it couldn't be trusted.

Google has gotten a lot of criticism over the accidental harvesting of WiFi and router data via the Google Street View cars. The search giant admitted its blunder after German Data Protection Authority asked to audit the WiFi data collected by the Google Street View cars. The mistake raised a number of questions about privacy and several countries launched investigations into the matter, including Canada, France, Germany and Spain.

Google is no stranger to criticism when it comes to user data and privacy. In a recent interview, CEO Eric Schmidt assured the Telegraph that user data is safe with Google because a combination of criticism, customers and competition keeps the company in check.

"I think the criticism is fine. I think criticism informs us, it makes us better. It doesn't bother me at all," said Schmid.

"Those concerns are real - I'm not trying to move away from them. The fact of the matter is that if you're online all the time, computers are generating a lot of information about you. This is not a Google decision, this is a societal decision. In Britain, you all allow yourselves to be photographed on every street corner. Where are the riots?"

Schmid goes on to say that all of Google's testing indicates that the vast majority of people are happy with its policy.

"The reality is we make decisions based on what the average user tells us and we do check. And the reason that you should trust us is that if we were to violate that trust people would move immediately to someone else. We're very non-sticky so we have a very high interest in maintaining the trust of those users."

Do you trust Google with your data? Let us know in the comments below!

(Via the Telegraph)

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Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    ColMirage , July 7, 2010 1:40 AM
    Well... people use Facebook, and they can't be trusted.
  • 20 Hide
    hunter315 , July 7, 2010 1:46 AM
    I trust them. They dont even need to try to gather data, we give it all to them for free with our emails and searches, if they wanted to do bad things with it they would have already. I trust them with my info a hell of a lot more than i trust facebook.
Other Comments
  • 26 Hide
    ColMirage , July 7, 2010 1:40 AM
    Well... people use Facebook, and they can't be trusted.
  • 8 Hide
    treefrog07 , July 7, 2010 1:45 AM
    No. I don't trust any organization that collects personal info, without full disclosure. Google collects lots of info through its search engine, and holds it for several months. I accept that as a trade-off to use its services (+ the ads). But since I use it for searching, I won't set up a Gmail account, that's too much personal info with one organization. Paranoid? Yes, but I cannot rely on an organization to safeguard my info - they can change their policies and practices at any time.
  • 20 Hide
    hunter315 , July 7, 2010 1:46 AM
    I trust them. They dont even need to try to gather data, we give it all to them for free with our emails and searches, if they wanted to do bad things with it they would have already. I trust them with my info a hell of a lot more than i trust facebook.
  • 3 Hide
    znegval , July 7, 2010 1:47 AM
    Well I say Google might not be all the good and ethical they claim they are but at least they care to pretend, unlike most. If I had to chose any of the computer giants to trust it would be Google. Better none at all but nowadays it's pretty dificult to not slip ANY personal data into the internet.
  • 8 Hide
    matt87_50 , July 7, 2010 1:51 AM
    I'll trust them until they do something wrong. and then I'll sue them, then probably never trust them again.

    I'm not one of these people who believes its only a matter of time until google does something evil, because they are soo big. I think people have seen too many movies. Google has never done anything even remotely wrong by me, and they constantly bring out good, USEFUL product at a price I can't complain about. so for me it is very much a matter of IF not WHEN, and if it does happen - and I'm not saying it isn't possible - we can rest assured that the lawyers will sort them out good and proper.
  • 1 Hide
    Simple11 , July 7, 2010 1:51 AM
    My thing is, if the Germans didn't audit Google, then would they have came out and said "Whops guys we collected some unprotected WiFi data!..our bad!"

    Probably not.
  • 4 Hide
    matt314 , July 7, 2010 2:15 AM
    treefrog07No. I don't trust any organization that collects personal info, without full disclosure. Google collects lots of info through its search engine, and holds it for several months. I accept that as a trade-off to use its services (+ the ads). But since I use it for searching, I won't set up a Gmail account, that's too much personal info with one organization. Paranoid? Yes, but I cannot rely on an organization to safeguard my info - they can change their policies and practices at any time.



    Wihtout full disclosure? Read the privacy policy. They follow it to the letter. Any time they violate something, they apologize and fix their mess.
  • 5 Hide
    r_pad , July 7, 2010 2:20 AM
    If it's not google, it's someone else (can you tell i'm canadian)

    *shrugs shoulders*
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , July 7, 2010 2:45 AM
    my daily day2day to do list on the internet is heavily rely on a few of google's service and the trade of giving some of my personal info for a better internet experience is acceptable to a certain extend for me.
    Beside, it's not like Google is the only one gather our personal info. Many other companies are doing it as well but are not as willingly to discuss this topic as google is
  • -6 Hide
    Deadstick50 , July 7, 2010 2:46 AM
    Well, the first paragraph was so full of bullshit about "accidental" harvesting of data that I almost didn't read the rest.
    Honestly, if you truly believe that all the data harvesting was an "accident" I'd ask why you're not sharing your obviously good drugs with me!
    Because if you believe it was an accident, you are either on some other planet, or on drugs!
    YOU CANT HARVEST THAT MUCH DATA WITHOUT KNOWING YOU ARE DOING IT!
    And for them to say, oh we didn't realize we were doing this is total crap!
  • -1 Hide
    mrmez , July 7, 2010 2:49 AM
    The mood is shifting against Google.

    Not too long ago they were seen as altruistic, cyber do-gooders, making our virtual world a better place.

    Now... not so much. Careful guys. The public are finicky and can turn in an instant.
  • 2 Hide
    babachoo , July 7, 2010 2:54 AM
    Google is evil. Avoid them and all of their products and services like the plague. Seriously.

    “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place. But if you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines – including Google – do retain this information for some time. And it’s important, for example, that we’re all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act... it is possible that that information could be made available to the authorities.”

    ---Google CEO Eric Schmidt on your privacy and data
  • 1 Hide
    gammaraptor , July 7, 2010 2:55 AM
    Google has some big evil plan in store..... ^^
  • 1 Hide
    Aleatoire , July 7, 2010 3:05 AM
    I don't know if I would say I trust them, but I use the internet and there is obviously a risk in doing so. I'm willing to take that risk and so if a company such as Google want's to keep information about me then it's pretty much my problem for using the internet in the first place. So really I couldn't care less. Anyway it's pretty unlikely Google would use your information to do anything that would actually effect you.
  • 5 Hide
    maigo , July 7, 2010 3:14 AM
    When was the last time you trusted someone that said "trust me"?
  • 0 Hide
    Anaxamenes , July 7, 2010 3:42 AM
    I switched to Bing because Google can keep your search data indefinitely and Microsoft says it will only keep it two years. Not a perfect solution, but it will do.
  • 1 Hide
    jednx01 , July 7, 2010 3:50 AM
    People wouldn't use google if it couldn't be trusted? That is amusingly unconvincing argument.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , July 7, 2010 3:52 AM
    As much as I appreciate Google's open stance towards criticism (as opposed to Apple) I still don't trust Google entirely, much less providing them with data.

    Among the necessary evils - I'd rather choose Bing over Google. Same goes for the browser.
  • 4 Hide
    bebangs , July 7, 2010 4:16 AM
    Well, you shouldn't use google if you dont trust them.
  • -3 Hide
    xerroz , July 7, 2010 4:28 AM
    bebangsWell, you shouldn't use google if you dont trust them.

    I agree, I never trusted google so i stopped using it and switched to Bing, besides being better (obv imo but can be a fact), your info would be in good hands
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