World realizes Google home page is 'illegal'
Beauty is advertising, advertising beauty
Five years later, an army of privacy-minded watchdogs has suddenly realized the Google home page is illegal.
But EPIC's Marc Rotenberg doesn't buy it. "I've been teaching privacy law for twenty years, and in any of these disputes, there will always be two sides," he told The Reg. "But I think that the straightforward reading is that the requirement is you put a link on your home page. And the best evidence of this is that's basically what every other commercial web site does."
The latest Google privacy debate first turned up last week in a series of blog posts - here and here - from The New York Times. As the The Times tells it, Google founder Larry Page doesn't want a privacy link on that "beautiful clean home page." Page and company recently applied to join the Network Advertising Initiative - an online ad trade group - and though the group recommends home page privacy links, Google told the group it wouldn't heed this recommendation.
Meanwhile, California’s Office of Privacy Protection is making a similar recommendation. "We advocate Google putting a link on its home page," office head Joanne McNabb told us. "That's become standard practice in the industry - more than standard practice." But McNabb's office has no power to regulate. A Google crackdown would have to come from the California Attorney General's office - or a civil suit.
We see little difference between a home page link and an About page link. People so rarely read legalese, wherever it turns up. The bigger issue is that Google refuses to change its privacy policies. The company still indexes your email. It still stores your IP address alongside your search history for at least 18 months. And if it does "anonymize" your IP address after 18 months - and that's a big if - it still refuses to anonymize the whole thing.
Or maybe this obsession has everything to do with arrogance. Google likes to think it's different from the rest. ®
@so sue em
Ummm not where I am it isn't.
The internet is not America(n).
Think before you bring out your cliched one-liners
Let's get real
Google is now up to 14 links on it's home page. One more isn't going to make a difference. They are just playing tough guy refusing to put on a privacy link.
Or are they trying to hide something? I think I'll go read their privacy statement and see what's hidden in there. Or maybe they are just planning on sneaking something in later?
Not so smug now, eh?
Not that it matters. As someone pointed out, the internet was not created to be a bastion of liberty, it was created via the USA's military. I'm sure Sir Tim (co-)created the web to be a wonderful place for science and research, unfortunately the public and commerce got their grubby paws on it. When stupidity and greed collide, there's not much room for common sense.
And to those of you who have said "Oh! Well if privacy was so important to people they should know to read privacy policies." I say tosh! If people don't know that their privacy can be impinged by using Google, and the ramifications of this, they need to be educated. It's not necessarily their fault that they think they can trust Google.