Google's Revamped Data-Sharing Could Apply to Government After All
SafeGov was co-founded by Karen Evans, de facto federal CIO during the George W. Bush Administration.
The new policy allows Google to combine user data from services like YouTube, Gmail, and Google search to create a single profile for each user of its various services.
Google argued that the new policy is shorter, easier to understand than the myriad plans it replaced, and will allow the company to deliver better and more targeted services.
In each instance, the government agencies cited contracted with a third party to implement Google cloud services at their sites.
While Google is unlikely to be doing any user tracking or data mining at these sites, there is nothing in the privacy language that would prevent the company from doing so, he said.
Gould conceded that Google may be unaware of the contract terms written by the third party firm.
Going forward, Google needs to ensure that all of its government privacy policies contain language specifically stating that the company will not track or mine information, Gould said.
Each policy should also specifically state that it supersedes the company's consumer privacy police, he added.
"What we are saying here is that this is not necessarily a great evil, but it is a direct contradiction of what they said in January," he said.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment onSafeGov.org's claims.
Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at @jaivijayan, or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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