Google Responds Over Microsoft’s Privacy Policy Criticism

Posted on Feb 2 2012 - 6:03am by Editorial Staff

Yesterday, Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President, Corporate Communications at Microsoft, has announced that the Redmond-based computing giant will be placing a series of ads in the US press this week, as it seeks to “remind people of the alternatives.” The alternatives he is pointed in the post against the Google’s “one big policy” – merging Google’s all 60 different policies into one, resulting into a single big product.

Google has responded back in its blog post “Busting myths about our approach to privacy.” The post refutes claims made by Microsoft and other places as well as responding to the government concerns over the privacy policy.

  • Myth: In 2011, Google made $36 billion selling information about users like you. [Fairsearch – PDF]
  • Fact: Google does not sell, trade or rent personally identifiable user information. Advertisers can run ads on Google that are matched to search keywords, or use our services to show ads based on anonymous data, such as your location or the websites you’ve visited.
  • Myth: Google’s Privacy Policy changes make it harder for users to control their personal information. [Microsoft]
  • Fact: Our privacy controls have not changed. Period. Our users can: edit and delete their search history; edit and delete their YouTube viewing history; use many of our services signed in or out; use Google Dashboard and our Ads Preferences Manager to see what data we collect and manage the way it is used; and take advantage of our data liberation efforts if they want to remove information from our services.
  • Myth: Google is changing our Privacy Policy to make the data we collect more valuable to advertisers. [Microsoft]
  • Fact: The vast majority of the product personalization Google does is unrelated to ads—it’s about making our services better for users. Today a signed-in user can instantly add an appointment to their Calendar when a message in Gmail looks like it’s about a meeting, or read Google Docs within their email.
  • Myth: Google reads your email. [Microsoft]
  • Fact: No one reads your email but you. Like most major email providers, our computers scan messages to get rid of spam and malware, as well as show ads that are relevant to you.
  • Myth: Google’s Privacy Policy changes jeopardize government information in Google Apps. []
  • Fact: Our new Privacy Policy does not change our contractual agreements, which have always superseded Google’s Privacy Policy for enterprise customers.
  • Myth: Microsoft’s approach to privacy is better than Google’s. [Microsoft]
  • Fact: We don’t make judgments about other people’s policies or controls. But our industry-leading Privacy Dashboard, Ads Preferences Manager and data liberation efforts enable you to understand and control the information we collect and how we use it—and we’ve simplified our privacy policy to make it easier to understand. Microsoft has no data liberation effort or Dashboard-like hub for users. Their privacy policy states that “information collected through one Microsoft service may be combined with information obtained through other Microsoft services.”

“We’ve always believed the facts should inform our marketing,” wrote Masiello, “and that it’s best to focus on our users rather than negative attacks on other companies.”

Adding an interesting myths-facts post by Google – it clearly indicates that there is strong tug of war going on in between both the companies – Microsoft and Google. Earlier, the software giant given the ads that will run across the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other mainstream titles, and will fall under a ‘Putting People First’ headline – very heavily focused on the anti-advertiser theme.

About the Author

Editorial Staff at I2Mag is a team of subject experts.