Search Marketing: Google’s privacy policy under fire

April 4, 2013 - Digital State Marketing

It is only natural for search marketing companies to keep up to date with all search marketing related news and at DSM we are no exception. An interesting read recently involves the search giant Google. It appears the search engine is in trouble with regards to its privacy policy.

This is not the first time the search empires privacy policy has come into the spotlight. Back in 2010, it emerged that Google’s street view cars that were capturing images for Google Maps had actually copied emails and passwords from private wi-fi networks. In the same year, the search site was accused of signing up millions of people to the social network site ‘Buzz’ without gaining prior permission to do so. This led to multi-million dollar fines for the search engine.

This time, however, Google is under fire for not revising their privacy policies. Back in late October 2012, the search engine was given a four month deadline in which to change the policies that they had in place. In particular, the data privacy watchdogs wanted to see changes with regards to letting users see what personal information Google is holding about them and to provide tools for users to be able to manage this data. However, it seems that Google does not agree with these revisions by releasing a statement stating that the privacy policy does “respect European law.”

Due to no changes being implemented, Google has since received warnings from six European data protection agencies about the potential for investigative action. This is a topic that will be catching the eyes of search marketing companies throughout the world as the story unravels.

To add further to the news, a recent press release has stated that Google’s privacy director, Alma Whitten, has chosen to step down following three years in the post which is said to be “the hardest job at Google.” The role was devised in response to the previous data protection blunders by the search giant as her post entailed evaluating and identifying products that may have privacy implications. Google has since announced that Whitten has done so much to improve their products and to protect users and the new team will continue to do so. She is to be replaced by Google software engineer, Laurence You.

With the majority of search marketing companies aiming to boost their clients visibility within the search pages of Google this is a topic that the team at Digital State Marketing will be keeping up to date with.