Making sense of Google’s new controls
Publish date: 15 May 2019
Issue Number: 1781
Diary: Legalbrief eLaw
In an op-ed written for The New York Times, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai has defended his company’s approach to privacy and user data, responding indirectly to critics who claim the company collects invasive amounts of personal information. Pichai says Google’s approach is to make privacy more democratic. He also called on the US to introduce new legislation protecting users’ data. A report on The Verge site notes that Pichai contrasted Google’s approach to privacy with Apple’s. In a thinly veiled snipe at the iPhone-maker, Pichai said that ‘privacy cannot be a luxury good’ that’s only available to ‘people who can afford to buy premium products and services.’ Apple’s Tim Cook has taken aim at Google in the past, notably telling attendees of a privacy conference in 2018 that modern technology has created a ‘data-industrial complex’ where personal and private information is abused by platform-holders in pursuit of profit. The report notes that Pichai minimises the ad-targeting aspects of the data Google collects, even though advertising is at the core of Google’s business model.