Ten Countries Want More Privacy From Google

Google received a letter from “privacy officials” in 10 countries with a list of complaints and demands surrounding privacy. The letter focuses on Buzz and the privacy fiasco that surrounded its launch, as well as StreetView. Here’s an excerpt from the letter:

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Buzz is a “hook” for government officials chronically unhappy with Google’s stand on some privacy issues (e.g., data retention) to raise their concerns again.

These officials are right to be vigilant about privacy on behalf of their countries’ residents. But they’re wrong to single out Google. Google is merely a lightning rod for criticism on this issue. What about Facebook, which has far more personal data than Google maintains? What about Yahoo? What about ad networks that permit behavioral targeting? What about mobile phone operators that enable spam texts on Europeans’ handsets?

I’m sure there are varying degrees of efforts and criticism directed at those companies; however, the implicit notion is that because Google is more visible and “powerful” that it deserves greater scrutiny.

Postscript: Here is a copy of the letter in text format.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google: Critics | Google: Outside US | Legal: Privacy

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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