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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Well... people use Facebook, and they can't be trusted.Reply
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.Reply
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.Reply
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.Reply
I'll trust them until they do something wrong. and then I'll sue them, then probably never trust them again.Reply
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.
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!"Reply
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.Reply
If it's not google, it's someone else (can you tell i'm canadian)Reply
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.Reply
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
Well, the first paragraph was so full of bullshit about "accidental" harvesting of data that I almost didn't read the rest.Reply
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!