Google Privacy Notice Visibility Varies by Location

Ted Byfield notices something interesting: Google: 'Privacy? Depends—where are you?'.

Documenting and figuring out how Google treats different language/national groups differently is going to be a full time job for someone…

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7 Responses to Google Privacy Notice Visibility Varies by Location

  1. You need to fix the link, but I just found out: small world, we have someone in common.

    Hello Ted.

  2. Testing. Can’t make innocuous comment. I keep getting an error due to “questionable content”.

  3. This space intentionally left blank.

  4. Regarding keeping an eye on google’s international activities, the following anecdote may be relevant.

    Years ago, I attended a luncheon meeting at the Harvard faculty club to hear a lecture by the international vice president of a large soap company. I asked out of curiosity, if the company had a sort of “state department” with “country desks”
    to keep track of the details of dealing with 54 countries, packaging and labelling laws, safety, etc. I was simply curious about the mechanics, but he began to splutter and fume and became very angry and pawing the air, reacting,
    wanting to know what I was getting at. I backed away out of politeness (I was a simple publications associate,
    not faculty) and life went on. I have thought about it often in the many years since and finally concluded that the only explanation was that the speaker immediately thought I was trying to expose or confront him about illegal activities.

  5. Interesting observation. I would suppose that the policies would have to very to go along with the laws of the country.

  6. tbyfield says:

    Of course Google has to abide by national and supranational (e.g., EU) laws — but, as I noted, that’s a minimal standard. They could define a synthetic standard that (a) complies the relevant laws and (b) provides additional guarantees. By failing to do so, they’ve adopted a sort of “work-to-rule” corporate policy. That would be normal; but normal companies generally don’t bang on about “not being evil.”

  7. I’m not sure the lack of a privacy policy link really implies that Google does not apply it’s standard policy. Being that anything you have stated in writing can and will be used against you, I would guess that they are going by the “disclose no more that necessary” rule.

    They still have a reputation to try to uphold, it is unlikely they would risk their reputation in their larger markets for what ever little gain they could get from stomping on the privacy of the relatively few people using their services in these other countries.

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