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Microsoft Targets Google's Privacy Policy with New Ad Campaign

By - Source: Microsoft | B 28 comments

Oof! That's the sound of Microsoft kicking Google when it's down.

Google has faced quite a bit of criticism over its new privacy policy introduced just last week. Things seem to have died down over the last few days, but Microsoft is ensuring users don't forget about the changes with a new ad campaign that it will be running in major newspapers over the next week. The advertisement was introduced via this blog post from Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft. Shaw writes that the changes Google announced make it harder, not easier, for people to stay in control of their own information.

"We take a different approach – we work to keep you safe and secure online, to give you control over your data, and to offer you the choice of saving your information on your hard drive, in the cloud, or on both," he said, adding that Microsoft has 'award winning alternatives' to Google's products for those that don't like the changes. "And to help remind people of these alternatives, we’re placing a series of ads in some major newspapers this week," he finished.

According to the Verge, the advertisements will appear in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and USA Today. Shaw posted the advertisement in full on his blog posting, too, and it shows that Microsoft isn't pulling any punches.

"Google is in the process of making some unpopular changes to their most popular products. Those changes, cloaked in language like "transparency," "simplicity" and "consistency," are really about one thing: Making it easier for Google to connect the dots between everything you search, send, say or stream while using one of their services.

But, the way they’re doing it is making it harder for you to maintain control of your personal information. Why are they so interested in doing this that they would risk this kind of backlash? One logical reason: Every data point they collect and connect to you increases how valuable you are to an advertiser."

Microsoft goes on to say that while there is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to improve the quality of an advertising product, that effort needs to be balanced with continuing to meet the needs and interests of users. Businesses that find their own balance will attract users with similar priorities, says Microsoft, but Google's new policies have upset that balance. Redmond then encourages users to try Hotmail, Bing, Office 365, and Internet Explorer if the changes 'rub you the wrong way.' You can check out the full-page ad here.

Just a few days after it announced the changes to its privacy policy, Google attempted to combat the negative response with a new blog post to clarify the changes. The search giant said that it wasn't all of a sudden collecting more data than before: "Our new policy simply makes it clear that we use data to refine and improve your experience on Google — whichever products or services you use. This is something we have already been doing for a long time." What's more, the company says users can still control their data by switching off search history, not logging in at all (for services like Maps, YouTube and Search), and switching Gchat to off the record. Google even suggests users can go as far as using separate accounts for each service. "You can use as much or as little of Google as you want," the company wrote. "For example, you can have a Google Account and choose to use Gmail, but not use Google+. Or you could keep your data separate with different accounts -- for example, one for YouTube and another for Gmail."

Are you upset by Google's changes to its privacy policy? Let us know in the comments below!

Follow @JaneMcEntegart on Twitter for the latest news.

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Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    jhansonxi , February 2, 2012 1:33 AM
    Translation:
    Our spying is much nicer than Google's.
  • 12 Hide
    Anonymous , February 2, 2012 2:04 AM
    Relax. All Google does is to look at who you are hanging out with, and what you typically search for. It will then be able to use these information and make searching for porn more efficient for you. ;) 
Other Comments
  • -7 Hide
    SR-71 Blackbird , February 2, 2012 1:16 AM
    Google Music is a great cloud music choice!
  • -6 Hide
    omega21xx , February 2, 2012 1:31 AM
    Google music is one of the best if not the best cloud music choice. Having music in the cloud is the only practical thing i would ever use "the cloud" for.
  • 20 Hide
    jhansonxi , February 2, 2012 1:33 AM
    Translation:
    Our spying is much nicer than Google's.
  • -4 Hide
    ta152h , February 2, 2012 1:50 AM
    How perverse, Microsoft as the "good guy". Hell has frozen over. The most malicious, detrimental, law breaking company I've had the displeasure of experiencing, by the resource of their own failures, has actually become the white knight?

    Google is getting too powerful, just like Microsoft was, IBM was, etc... As revolting and disgusting as Microsoft was/is, it's pretty clear that any company that gains too much power gets too much arrogance with it, and becomes predatory and cares little about what is in the best interest of people who gave them that power.

    It's what brought IBM to their knees, it's what has made Microsoft a laughable failure at virtually everything they try, and it will bite Google, despite their current success.

    Even Intel, a far more important company than these, considering their incredible talent and technology, fell prey with fiasco after fiasco in the early 2000s, with RDRAM, buggy and delayed chipsets, miserable processors (Prescott?), and fines and penalties for illegal behavior, when they though we were all stupid, and would take any crap they produced.

    IBM and Intel are great companies, so they recovered, but what's Google by comparison? They're in deep trouble if they don't learn some humility, before the lesson is inescapable (and maybe too late). If Microsoft being the good guy doesn't tell them something they're doing is wrong, it's probably already too late.
  • 1 Hide
    spasmolytic46 , February 2, 2012 2:02 AM
    I plan on setting up a cheap VPS for personal use. I'll do my own email with multiple accounts. I'll also do my own photo/video/document hosting with it. My privacy is worth the minimal cash that takes these days.
  • 12 Hide
    Anonymous , February 2, 2012 2:04 AM
    Relax. All Google does is to look at who you are hanging out with, and what you typically search for. It will then be able to use these information and make searching for porn more efficient for you. ;) 
  • 3 Hide
    doorspawn , February 2, 2012 2:05 AM
    As revolting and disgusting as Microsoft was/is, it's pretty clear that any company that gains too much power gets too much arrogance with it, and becomes predatory and cares little about what is in the best interest of people who gave them that power.


    This could be right. Or it could be the other way around.
    Survival of the "fittest" (read greediest).
    Companies who will do every last thing to increase profits out-compete those who hold back on moral grounds (because in reality few people actually follow up moral outrage with refusal to purchase).

    Since I assume we all agree that we'd like companies to act morally, my question is: What mechanism do we wish to use to encourage corporate morality (fairness, honesty, no abusive practices etc).

    If we choose total capitalism and state that companies should not be taken to task for simply maximising profit, then it's up to the law (read: regulation) to enforce corporate morality.

    If we don't want lots of regulation, we can't also say "companies should not be taken to task for simply maximising profit".

    What should we choose?
  • -7 Hide
    doorspawn , February 2, 2012 2:07 AM
    [/nom][/citation]
  • 1 Hide
    NuclearShadow , February 2, 2012 2:13 AM
    I hate to say this but Microsoft is right. Though I don't think Microsoft is in any moral high-ground to pass judgement on Google. I guess this is the natural evolution of a company however, so much for the "Don't be evil" motto.
    Quote:
    a bit of a jab at a lot of the other companies, especially our competitors, who at the time, in our opinion, were kind of exploiting the users to some extent." -Paul Buchheit


    Quote:
    Follow @JaneMcEntegart on Twitter for the latest news.


    Sure I'll gladly stalk you on Twitter Jane.


  • -5 Hide
    coder543 , February 2, 2012 2:37 AM
    Use Internet Explorer if this whole "keeping your data safe" thing just isn't for you -- what should have been in the memo from Microsoft.
  • -1 Hide
    madooo12 , February 2, 2012 3:21 AM
    no video like the Gmail man :( 
  • -3 Hide
    ta152h , February 2, 2012 3:25 AM
    doorspawn
    This could be right. Or it could be the other way around.Survival of the "fittest" (read greediest).Companies who will do every last thing to increase profits out-compete those who hold back on moral grounds (because in reality few people actually follow up moral outrage with refusal to purchase).Since I assume we all agree that we'd like companies to act morally, my question is: What mechanism do we wish to use to encourage corporate morality (fairness, honesty, no abusive practices etc).If we choose total capitalism and state that companies should not be taken to task for simply maximising profit, then it's up to the law (read: regulation) to enforce corporate morality.If we don't want lots of regulation, we can't also say "companies should not be taken to task for simply maximising profit".What should we choose?


    Well, that's an interesting discussion, and a tough one, that has been around for a long time.

    Let's use Microsoft as an example, because they are company I've loathed for a long time. I have to use Windows, because, well, I have to.

    But, IE? No way. Office? No way. Anything else from Microsoft, no way. Where they are a monopoly, and we have no choices, sure, Microsoft still gets my money, and I can't do anything about it. But, where there are real choices (and please, Apple isn't a real choice, unless you've suffered brain damage), I do not use Microsoft, and do everything I can to get people off of Office products and into OpenOffice or something else. In every circumstance where there is a real choice, I will not use anything from Microsoft. Strangely though, the kiddies don't know just how bad Microsoft has been, so they're being forgiven slowly but sure, and their behavior has been better as well.

    Google is far more vulnerable. Sure, Windows blows, but what's the choice? Apple??????? Good grief. Google is a good search engine, but so is Bing (which, I also refuse to use). Android has more than enough competition with iPad 2 and iPhone (which in my opinion are much more competitive than the MacIntoys), and if WebOS is revitalized, even more. Microsoft also wants to get into this market, but they don't seem able to compete in new markets, and just end up leaving a few years later.

    IBM got usurped by a move to smaller computers because they were arrogant (although mainframes are still very lucrative and impressive machines), Intel lost considerable market share when they laid the illustrious Prescott on the world, and Microsoft frankly ended up losing in every market they tried to move into for the last decade or so, although they are least competitive with their game console. But they're beset by failure after failure.

    These companies had unique stuff too that made it at least somewhat difficult to move away from. Google? Would you really give up a lot to not use Google? I could do it with almost no consequence.

    Maybe we can't kill the companies, and maybe we can't stop purchasing everything they make, but hatred towards a company does carry consequences in some form or another. And people who don't like something, or a company, can and do have an impact over time, and arrogance causes a company to hurt itself as well.

    Google is making a big mistake by creating so much ill-will. The story for all these huge companies is, and has been, who cares, it will blow over and we're so important they will have to use us anyway. Except better companies than Google have paid the price, until they changed.

    Intel is a spectacularly successful, well-run, and important company. Compare them to 10 years ago, when they were screwing up left and right, and were far more arrogant. Now they are not nearly so arrogant. How about IBM in their heyday? Very arrogant. Now? Not so. How about two decades of grotesque behavior from Microsoft? They have been passed by many companies, and now are paying attention to good public relations. Google? They can sink faster than the Hood.
  • 1 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , February 2, 2012 3:29 AM
    ta152hHow perverse, Microsoft as the "good guy". Hell has frozen over. The most malicious, detrimental, law breaking company I've had the displeasure of experiencing, by the resource of their own failures, has actually become the white knight? Google is getting too powerful, just like Microsoft was, IBM was, etc... As revolting and disgusting as Microsoft was/is, it's pretty clear that any company that gains too much power gets too much arrogance with it, and becomes predatory and cares little about what is in the best interest of people who gave them that power. It's what brought IBM to their knees, it's what has made Microsoft a laughable failure at virtually everything they try, and it will bite Google, despite their current success. Even Intel, a far more important company than these, considering their incredible talent and technology, fell prey with fiasco after fiasco in the early 2000s, with RDRAM, buggy and delayed chipsets, miserable processors (Prescott?), and fines and penalties for illegal behavior, when they though we were all stupid, and would take any crap they produced. IBM and Intel are great companies, so they recovered, but what's Google by comparison? They're in deep trouble if they don't learn some humility, before the lesson is inescapable (and maybe too late). If Microsoft being the good guy doesn't tell them something they're doing is wrong, it's probably already too late.


    What a load of BS. Microsoft fails at everything? Yeah, right... dismiss the greatest home OS (Win7), dismiss Kinect, which became a new selling point for some new Xbox games such as Mass Effect 3, dismiss Windows 8 which may change the desktop completely (for better or worse, we don't know yet)... of course, MS is laughable and irrelevant.

    Intel? They way they've dealt with the B2 Sandy Bridge fiasco can be an example for many, many companies. Full recall, full replacement, no BS, no questions asked, our fault, our job to fix it.

    On the other hand, MS better shut up... probably 70% of home users only have a PC so that they can search all kinds of crap on Google.
  • 1 Hide
    SAL-e , February 2, 2012 3:32 AM
    What is the URL of Microsoft's version of Google's free Data Liberation Front service? [1]
    How do I export my e-mails from Hotmail?

    Ok Mr. Frank X. Shaw, when you have answers please come back ... until then, F*** OFF Mr. Shaw and Microsoft.


    [1] http://www.dataliberation.org/
  • 0 Hide
    ta152h , February 2, 2012 5:31 AM
    amk-aka-PhantomWhat a load of BS. Microsoft fails at everything? Yeah, right... dismiss the greatest home OS (Win7), dismiss Kinect, which became a new selling point for some new Xbox games such as Mass Effect 3, dismiss Windows 8 which may change the desktop completely (for better or worse, we don't know yet)... of course, MS is laughable and irrelevant.Intel? They way they've dealt with the B2 Sandy Bridge fiasco can be an example for many, many companies. Full recall, full replacement, no BS, no questions asked, our fault, our job to fix it.On the other hand, MS better shut up... probably 70% of home users only have a PC so that they can search all kinds of crap on Google.


    All drivel. Windows succeeds because IBM chose them as the OS of choice in 1981. Since then, they have been a monopoly. Windows 7 succeeds because it extends a monopoly. Vista was 'successful' by those standards. You just don't know better, but Windows blows. It's slow, takes huge amounts of memory, and is a sad joke to real operating systems like z/OS or HP/UX, or other real ones.

    XBox 360 isn't particularly successful, but I did give them credit for at least being competitive. But, if you compare sales with the Wii over the lifetime of the machines, it's poor. It's right there with the PS/3, so not pathetic by any means, but still not overly successful.

    How about all their failures? They've failed in tablets. How about that Zune? Nice, huh? How about their thus great success in smart phones? Yes, and their tablet software has done what? How about Mobile 6.5? Great effort there. Oh, and how is IE doing since they haven't been the only game in town? Oh, yes, they're doing great? Come to think of it, how has Bing been doing since their great launch? Hmmmm, not so great? MSN has done well as a portal sight? Hmmm, maybe not. How did they do as an ISP anyway? Yup, another failure. The list goes on and on. Even Jobs said they are irrelevant. They are.

    So, really, where are they successful? Operating Systems was given to them by IBM. They illegally created a monopoly in the Office space because their competitors had no OS to leverage. They illegally gained a monopoly in the browser market, which the market is correcting slowly but surely. XBox 360 is their greatest success, and isn't really much of a success, being second out of three, and much closer to three than one in terms of the lifetime sales of the unit. Every place else, they've failed miserably.

    All three of their monopolies are being eroded. They aren't even a monopoly in browsers anymore, but the sick man in the group, being consumed by competitors like a wildebeest beset by hyenas, lions, leopards, and ugly baboons.

    How about the one area you point to as so successful, and their strongest position? Oooops, they've been losing market share to Apple for years now. Oh, and they already lost the war for servers to Linux!

    Office? They're losing share there as well, although not too quickly.

    Their offensives have failed, they can't gain any traction in a market they can't leverage a monopoly in. Their monopolies are weakening, with new markets (like tablets) they couldn't create, and their own markets slowly eroding.

    Microsoft used to pretty much own the software industry, and got away with murder because they called all the shots. It's just not so anymore. Their arrogance, and incompetence has hurt them, and they're less important than a number of companies now.

    That's not success. It's not pure failure since they're profitable, but that's based on a monopoly, not creating or being successful in new markets.
  • 2 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , February 2, 2012 9:36 AM
    Quote:
    All drivel. Windows succeeds because IBM chose them as the OS of choice in 1981. Since then, they have been a monopoly. Windows 7 succeeds because it extends a monopoly. Vista was 'successful' by those standards. You just don't know better, but Windows blows. It's slow, takes huge amounts of memory, and is a sad joke to real operating systems like z/OS or HP/UX, or other real ones.

    XBox 360 isn't particularly successful, but I did give them credit for at least being competitive. But, if you compare sales with the Wii over the lifetime of the machines, it's poor. It's right there with the PS/3, so not pathetic by any means, but still not overly successful.

    How about all their failures? They've failed in tablets. How about that Zune? Nice, huh? How about their thus great success in smart phones? Yes, and their tablet software has done what? How about Mobile 6.5? Great effort there. Oh, and how is IE doing since they haven't been the only game in town? Oh, yes, they're doing great? Come to think of it, how has Bing been doing since their great launch? Hmmmm, not so great? MSN has done well as a portal sight? Hmmm, maybe not. How did they do as an ISP anyway? Yup, another failure. The list goes on and on. Even Jobs said they are irrelevant. They are.

    So, really, where are they successful? Operating Systems was given to them by IBM. They illegally created a monopoly in the Office space because their competitors had no OS to leverage. They illegally gained a monopoly in the browser market, which the market is correcting slowly but surely. XBox 360 is their greatest success, and isn't really much of a success, being second out of three, and much closer to three than one in terms of the lifetime sales of the unit. Every place else, they've failed miserably.

    All three of their monopolies are being eroded. They aren't even a monopoly in browsers anymore, but the sick man in the group, being consumed by competitors like a wildebeest beset by hyenas, lions, leopards, and ugly baboons.

    How about the one area you point to as so successful, and their strongest position? Oooops, they've been losing market share to Apple for years now. Oh, and they already lost the war for servers to Linux!

    Office? They're losing share there as well, although not too quickly.

    Their offensives have failed, they can't gain any traction in a market they can't leverage a monopoly in. Their monopolies are weakening, with new markets (like tablets) they couldn't create, and their own markets slowly eroding.

    Microsoft used to pretty much own the software industry, and got away with murder because they called all the shots. It's just not so anymore. Their arrogance, and incompetence has hurt them, and they're less important than a number of companies now.

    That's not success. It's not pure failure since they're profitable, but that's based on a monopoly, not creating or being successful in new markets.


    BS... *I* don't know any better? I'm a regular Linux user and I DO prefer Windows over it (and Mac OS; had enough time dealing with this joke of an OS to understand it doesn't suit me). It's "slower" (by like 5-10%) because it's running much more processes than the average Linux distro on the background... and that's for weak machines; good ones - Sandy Bridge (even SB Pentiums) with 4-8GB RAM don't care, they run as fast as Ubuntu/Debian/Mint.

    MS will score a big win with Kinect and Win8 if they do it right. As for Zune, mind you, I've never approved of any locked down mp3 players; Zune is as much fail for me as the iPod. Windows Mobile was freaking awesome, best thing at its time, I still have a WM 2005 PDA and there's so many cool things you can do with it... games are better than any Android/iOS ones, btw. Not sure about Windows Phone, never tried it out, but some prefer it to Android or iOS, so I suppose it's not THAT much of a fail (the stuff sells a lot, look at this Lumia nonsense!).

    360 isn't much of a success? Yeah, I WISH you were right... but sadly, no. It sets the gaming standards today :( 

    I don't see where Apple is taking a market share from them - recently, the news said that Win7 just gained the most market share... as for Office, I found Office 2007 being better than any alternatives (Libre/OpenOffice) and won't change from it.
  • 5 Hide
    mobrocket , February 2, 2012 11:27 AM
    for the general public, does it matter

    they freely give up all their personal information on facebook

  • 4 Hide
    hardcore_gamer , February 2, 2012 11:55 AM
    mobrocketfor the general public, does it matterthey freely give up all their personal information on facebook


    +1 bud

    They whine about google spying on their search results while they happily upload their half naked drunk pictures on FB.
  • 0 Hide
    juanc , February 2, 2012 2:02 PM
    Still having place in first page, I would like to say that Google previously changed the cookies so you CAN'T Sign In with different accounts on the same browser and if you do, and you change from one account to the other, all "pages" opened change accordingly.

    I'm now using IE + FF + CH to be able to separate the waters.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , February 2, 2012 2:32 PM
    NuclearShadowSure I'll gladly stalk you on Twitter Jane.

    Just as long as you don't stalk her in real life, you creepy f**ker
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