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Microsoft ad campaign savages Google over privacy

'We are not like them, and hey, why not try IE?'

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Updated Microsoft is launching a three-day advertising campaign in the US, offering itself as the privacy-respecting alternative to Google.

Last week Google decided to pool personal user information across 60 of its products with no opt out available to users. The ad campaign's slogan is: "Putting people first" [JPG here].

“Every data point Google collects and connects to you increases how valuable you are to an advertiser," the campaign notes. In fact, so does everyone else, something Microsoft acknowledges in the ad copy:

To be clear, there's nothing inherently wrong with wanting to improve the quality of an advertising product. But that effort needs to be with continuing to the needs and interests of users.

"The changes Google announced make it harder, not easier, for people to stay in control of their own information," writes Microsoft's chief spinmeister Frank X Shaw, on the company's blog.

Microsoft makes hay

Google has responded to Congress's concerns about the data-sharing policy by claiming the changes had been "misunderstood". We analysed that here yesterday. It's worth comparing Google's explanation with the caveats. ®

Bootnote

Readers with long memories will remember how Microsoft was once seen as the creepy data-mining uberlord - not so long ago.

Update

Google has issued a blog post addressing some of the issues Microsoft had raised.

"We don’t make judgments about other people’s policies or controls. But our industry-leading Privacy Dashboard, Ads Preferences Manager and data liberation efforts enable you to understand and control the information we collect and how we use it—and we’ve simplified our privacy policy to make it easier to understand. Microsoft has no data liberation effort or Dashboard-like hub for users. Their privacy policy states that “information collected through one Microsoft service may be combined with information obtained through other Microsoft services,” it said.

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