Google to Congress: We're changing privacy policies, not privacy controls
Facing pressure from lawmakers over efforts to consolidate its user privacy standards, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) sent a letter to Congress to assuage concerns, maintaining that it is revamping its privacy policies but not changing corresponding controls.
Consumers who log into Google services won't be able to opt out of the revamped guidelines, which has some critics crying foul. "Google's new privacy announcement is frustrating and a little frightening," Common Sense Media chief executive James Steyer told The Washington Post. Even if the company believes that tracking users across all platforms improves their services, consumers should still have the option to opt out--especially the kids and teens who are avid users of YouTube, Gmail and Google Search."
Chavez explains that Google is striving to make its privacy policies simpler and more accessible to users, changes lawmakers and regulators have requested. "We're still keeping your private information private--we're not changing the visibility of any information you have stored with Google," Chavez writes on the Google Public Policy Blog. "We're still allowing you to do searches, watch videos on YouTube, get driving directions on Google Maps and perform other tasks without signing into a Google Account. We're still offering you choice and control through privacy tools like Google Dashboard and Ads Preferences Manager that help you understand and manage your data. We still won't sell your personal information to advertisers. We're still offering data liberation if you'd prefer to close your Google Account and take your data elsewhere."
- read this Google Public Policy Blog entry
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