Google in hot water yet again over data collection and privacy concerns

Google in hot water yet again over data collection and privacy concerns
A newly uncovered internal database has shed light on Google's questionable data collection practices, raising concerns about the tech giant's commitment to user privacy. The database, spanning from 2013 to 2018, reveals a wide range of incidents where personal data was collected and stored across various Google apps and products, including Waze, YouTube, and AdWords.

While Google claims to prioritize transparency, the leaked database reportedly paints a different picture. Reports within the database, ranked by priority, detail instances of data collection that were often not publicly disclosed. Some incidents involved sensitive information, such as the recording of children's voices through Gboard's microphone and the gathering of license plate information through Street View.

Although Google maintains that these incidents were resolved, the sheer number and variety of reports raise concerns about the company's ability to safeguard user data. The leaked database, obtained by 404 Media, highlights the potential risks associated with Google's vast data collection practices.

Among the examples of data inappropriately collected or leaked were payment information for employees through travel agency software Sabre, addresses and trips taken through Waze's carpool feature, and Docs files mistakenly made public.

In response to the 404 Media report, Google stated that the reports were over six years old and had been reviewed and resolved. However, the company's confirmation of "aspects" of the dataset suggests that there may be some truth to the allegations.

This is not the first time Google has faced scrutiny over its data practices. Recent leaks of Google Search API documents, obtained by the same company, have also raised questions about the company's transparency regarding its search operations. The authenticity of that particular leak, while potentially taking months to fully analyze, has not been disputed by Google when questioned.

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These revelations add to a growing list of privacy concerns surrounding Google's data collection practices, and it looks like Google has some damage control due ahead. As users become increasingly aware of this leaked material, it remains to be seen how this will impact the company's reputation and future operations.

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