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Sundar Pichai explains why you should trust Google with your data

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Sundar Pichai explains why you should trust Google with your data
It's about time someone from Google came out and did this, because there is a constant push back from users about privacy and the amount of data that Google collects on its users (not to mention the somewhat misleading attack campaign from Microsoft). We've talked before about the idea of the personal data trade, but today Sundar Pichai clearly and succinctly explained exactly why you should trust Google with your data.

Walt Mossberg mentioned the amount of data that is being collected in order to power products like Google Now, and asked why he shouldn't be nervous about what Google does. Pichai responded:
It’s a good and important question. When we build cloud services, I think it’s a huge responsibility we have when we run cloud services because there’s a lot of data.

There are three things we have to do. First, we have to give a lot of value to you. So when you walk into an airport and Google Now gives you your boarding pass, that’s great. Second, having transparency and giving users control. Walt talked about Amazon — these are open systems, and the switching costs aren’t very high. We only get to do what we do as long as we do right by users. Third, people have a choice.
If that sounds familiar, it may be because those are similar arguments to what we've made before, but it's good to have someone from Google address the topic. Privacy is a concern, but what many people don't realize is that if Google loses the public's trust, the entire business could collapse. If Google can't protect user data, users stop feeding the system, and Google's services and main revenue stream (advertising) rely on that data. 

source: AllThingsD

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posted on 30 May 2013, 17:13 1

1. Gawain (Posts: 420; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)

It is not that I mistrust Google with my data, it is that Google does not give the user any choice if there is a problem. When a computer sniffer senses something wrong and the account with "my" data gets locked, Google makes all the rules. Other providers are in the same boat, but their image projects a different motive.

posted on 30 May 2013, 17:30 13

2. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)

So, you would rather Google wait until your data is compromised before locking the account?

I can understand that it's annoying when your account gets locked, but your annoyance there should be with the person or service that tried to access your account inappropriately, not with the fact that Google worked to protect your data.

posted on 30 May 2013, 19:05 3

20. ardent1 (Posts: 2000; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)

Michael, you are not making sense. Google has being fined, as in monetary damages, for violating privacy around the world.

Their motto of "don't be evil" is simply BULLSPIT!

posted on 30 May 2013, 20:30 4

28. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Fines for what? For the Street View car catching waves from open WiFi points? Just because people are scared of Google and overreact. The only major privacy problem was when Buzz launched. That was a screw up by Google. I haven't heard any other compelling problems.

posted on 30 May 2013, 21:06 1

36. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 15408; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)

I would rather Google gave user's choices since that is a ton of data they have on people. I don't know if you know it or not but Google knows more about you than you probably know about yourself Michael.

The fact that Google is a multibillion dollar company with a huge reach disturbs me with how much data they have of users.

And then they release Google Glasses? Do you realize how much potential there is for invasion of privacy with the Google Glasses?

A company that big I do not trust with my data and that would hold true for any company.

posted on 30 May 2013, 21:20 7

37. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Google does give choices. Don't stay logged in to your account and Google can't get any more data from you than any other site. You can opt out of ad targeting. Or you can not use Google all-together.

Saying you wish there was a choice means that you really want to use Google, because Google makes good services, but you think you're entitled to get those services completely free.

posted on 30 May 2013, 21:24 1

38. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 15408; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)

I never said anything about entitled to get those services for free. I'm only saying that Google shouldn't have that much data about users and I just don't trust them with having all of that data. That's precisely why I refuse to open a G+ account because of all the concerns about privacy. Google has far too much leeway in what they do without users' consent.

Google can still track and use your data even if you aren't logged in.

I'm not knocking them as a service, only some of their questionable policies.

posted on 30 May 2013, 22:29 2

42. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

You know I could says the same thing about trusting the company you like the most?

posted on 30 May 2013, 23:25 1

44. ardent1 (Posts: 2000; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)

Michael, you are playing games or have had your head in the sand.

Come on, now! The FTC gave Google a record fine over privacy concerns. See linkhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/09/ftc-google-fine-safari-privacy-violation_n_1760281.html

posted on 31 May 2013, 08:56

46. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)

As always, can you please give more details in as far as the "too much leeway"? Also, can you give more details on why you don't trust Google?

I keep asking others to answer questions like this, but everyone seems to think that "I just don't trust them" is a valid answer.

posted on 31 May 2013, 10:09

49. madpiyal (Posts: 108; Member since: 11 Feb 2013)

You are spot on my friend. Their motto'" Don't be Evil" is an absolute Bull-crap. There is no company in this human world trades more money for some others private information than Google. Mr Michel is as everyone knows is a bit of Google fan. But lets just show you guys how trustworthy is Your beloved Google is. Just search "GOOGLES PRIVACY SECURITY PROBLEMS"' both in BING and GOOGLE. The search outcome will astonish you. Go do it yourself if you don't believe me, I hope you will believe your own eyes.

posted on 31 May 2013, 10:31

50. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Admittedly, I had forgotten about that case. But, at the same time, the fine was more due to the FTC mischaracterizing the issue rather than any harm done by Google.

Google shouldn't have been bypassing the default (and annoyingly strict) Safari settings (using a loophole that Google itself patched, and submitted back to WebKit but Apple refused to adopt.) But, no one was ever "tracked" by Google, it was simply to make +1 buttons work.


posted on 31 May 2013, 05:09

45. Hemlocke (unregistered)

Sure, there are quite a few, but it was a big deal last summer:

posted on 30 May 2013, 17:31 2

3. shahulvm (Posts: 124; Member since: 01 Apr 2012)

Thumbs down or up, this is the fact...

You trust google with your data and they make money out of it :)

It is like give your soul to me and then you need to go my way always :(

posted on 30 May 2013, 17:50 10

6. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)

That's not true. I can pull my data out of Google anytime I want and move to another service.

Besides, if I'm going to give you my soul, you best be offering a lot of value in return.

posted on 30 May 2013, 18:12 3

8. Hemlocke (unregistered)

That is true, but the logic amounts to "If I have my hand in a crocodile's mouth, I can pull it back at any time." You may pull back, but the damage is still done, and you are now known as "Lefty" without the great golf game. Google Takeout is a placebo, and it doesn't matter if you take your data out, Google still keeps it, and you know they do. Try wiping your Google tracks, and then using Google services, or the web after visiting Google. Nothing changes.

posted on 30 May 2013, 18:25 8

10. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)

That's just a fearmongering analogy. A croc has no incentive to not bite your hand off, it's just animal instinct. Besides which, even if you are right and Google decides to screw us all over, what exactly do I lose from this scenario? Anyone who wants to can already find out who I am and where I live. Do I really care if they know that I like video games, basketball, and occasionally listen to Rihanna?

I'm being advertised to all the time anyway. What am I losing by allowing that advertising to be more tailored to things I may actually want to buy?

Of course, that all leads back to the same question (and one that no one who mistrusts Google has been able to answer). What incentive does Google have to screw you over and misuse your data? Just because it's possible that Google will screw you doesn't make it likely, or even logical that it would.

posted on 30 May 2013, 18:33 1

12. AnTuTu (Posts: 1580; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)

Its not a matter of just you "Michael" there are other people on this earth as well who don't even want to share that kind of info :)

posted on 30 May 2013, 18:36 2

13. Hemlocke (unregistered)

Regardless of your cavalier attitude toward it, privacy is not some outdated concept. There are those who must maintain a semblance of it, because of the work they do, as well as others who do not believe it is a worthy trade for some decent mapping solution and a search engine.

The problem lies in Google's success, wherein anyone contemplating competition, minus the actual hardware companies, must, out of necessity, employ the same tactics in order to thrive. I just choose to trust the companies to whom I am a customer, not a product.

posted on 30 May 2013, 18:41

14. papss (unregistered)

Michael to say there's no incentive is just being blind.. The whole damn industry is driven by money and selling your, mine, everyone's data would garner the same outcome.. To make money

posted on 30 May 2013, 18:51 2

16. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

Then just don't O_O that's a simple answer

posted on 30 May 2013, 18:53 1

17. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

And these companies are?

If you have free search, if you have a free social network, if you have free storage, if you have free email YOU ARE A PRODUCT

posted on 30 May 2013, 19:02 3

18. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

I think people have the wrong idea of how Google's business work and why they are successful, Google does not sell your data, your data is more valuable to them that its not worth taking about giving it away

Google business with your data is for statistics and I'll tell you how it works

You make a YouTube account and you like pop music and cars, Google piles you with the people who likes pop music and with the people who like cars and go to company A and Company B and tells them I have 100 people who like pop and 100 people who like cars IF YOU PAY ME I'll put ads on their content related to your new car offer or your new pop band, and its why you see ads in YouTube targeting your interest, but its still Google doing it not company A or B and this is why data is valuable to Google for them to sell it, if company C comes they again bid on a spot to get inside the YouTube adds targeted to a certain public

posted on 30 May 2013, 19:04

19. Hemlocke (unregistered)

Apple, Blackberry, and Mozilla, to name a few. I use Tor, as well.

posted on 30 May 2013, 19:08 1

21. Hemlocke (unregistered)

Go download "Collusion" for Firefox, and then tell me they keep your data away from the ad companies.

posted on 30 May 2013, 19:10 2

22. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

"In 2006 the Mozilla Corporation generated 66.8 million dollars in revenue and 19.8 million in expenses, with 85% of that revenue coming from Google for "assigning [Google] as the browser's default search engine, and for click-throughs on ads placed on the ensuing search results pages."

Does apple offer 100℅ free email services? Does Blackberry does the same?

posted on 30 May 2013, 19:16

23. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

I'll check the app out

posted on 30 May 2013, 19:39

26. Hemlocke (unregistered)

No, you have to buy their products, hence the "business-customer" relationship. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

As for Mozilla, that is disturbing, but no ads are being served while I am using their browser with Tor.

posted on 30 May 2013, 19:53 4

27. Whateverman (Posts: 3283; Member since: 17 May 2009)

Have you checked out Apple's privacy policy? It's very interesting. Especially the part about possibly needing you SSN... What?!? Just as scary as Google's IMO.

And if I recall correctly, you can't even set up an iTunes account without entering a credit card. Of course if you bought an iTunes card BEFORE your iDevice, then your all good. The point is, we're ALL for sale. You just may not know it.

posted on 30 May 2013, 20:36 2

29. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Privacy definitely isn't outdated. Privacy is a very modern concept, and never really existed the way we think of it until fairly recently.

But, privacy isn't an answer to my question. I haven't heard a compelling reason why privacy is important, nor have I heard a reason for what incentive Google has to mistreat your data.

As per your last point, I would argue that you are far more a customer to Google than most other companies. You're not a customer to any hardware company, you're just a product (money). With Google there is a continuous relationship. You give a bit to Google and Google gives back. If it doesn't give back, or asks too much. You can leave.

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