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Google’s Privacy Rap Sheet, Dominance & Duplicity Not to Be Forgotten -- Part 41 Google Disrespect for Privacy Series


Please see Google’s new and updated Privacy Rap Sheet here.

Google’s uniquely awful privacy record makes it wish Google had its own “right to be forgotten.”

And Google clearly wants the EC to forget its digital and data dominance, and its many abuses of dominance of Europe’s digital and data economy, because Google knows a core enabler of its market dominance is Google’s willingness to disregard privacy and data protection laws for anti-competitive first-mover advantage.

Google knows data protection rules, and requirements of consumer consent are impediments to gaining dominance -- so it simply ignores them while publicly proclaiming to respect them. Google has learned that its willingness to do what other competitors will not is an unbeatable competition advantage in the marketplace.   

Google’s Privacy Rap Sheet

Google’s Privacy Rap Sheet chronicles 41 Google privacy problems in the last twelve months for a total of 84 Google privacy problems from 2002 to mid-2014.

Tellingly, there are now 32 official sovereign privacy actions against Google, including 14 in 2013 and 10 in the first six months of 2014, which involve the EU and 11 countries: U.S., France, UK, Germany, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Korea, Canada, and Italy.

To date there have been 11 official privacy fines or monetary government privacy settlements against Google globally. They include four in the U.S. (FTC, FCC, and State AGs twice), two in France, and one each in: Germany, Spain, Korea, and Italy. More privacy fines in more countries are pending.

This rap sheet shows Google has the world’s worst privacy record -- by far. If the sovereign privacy problems of all other major companies were added together they probably would not come close to Google’s exceptionally bad official privacy record globally.   

This world’s worst privacy record is made much worse by Google’s unabashed duplicity over its record.

Google’s Public Privacy Representations

It is instructive to learn that Google’s privacy violations are increasing at the same time its privacy rhetoric is becoming increasingly duplicitous.

On CNBC April 30, 2014, Mr. Schmidt reassured the world that Google does not spy or surveil: “We actually don’t track people. We are very very careful to respect people’s privacy. We disclose exactly what we do.”

Over the last two years of Google’s European privacy policy non-compliance, Google’s standard public statement has been a variation of this direct quote: “Our privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services. We have engaged fully with the authorities involved throughout this process, and we’ll continue to do so going forward.”

Google’s spokesperson, in response to the announcement of a $25,000 FCC fine for “deliberately impeding and delaying” the FCC’s Street View WiFi investigation told the New York Times in 2012: “We worked in good faith to answer the F.C.C.’s questions throughout the inquiry, and we’re pleased that they have concluded that we complied with the law.”

Before the U.S. Senate in 2011, Google's Director of Public Policy, Alan Davidson, testified: "Our business depends on protecting the privacy and security of our users.Without the trust of our users, they will simply switch to competing services, which are always just one click away."

In response to Google’s Street View WiFi privacy scandal in several countries Google’s spokesperson said in 2010: “it was a mistake” by “an engineer…the engineering team at Google works hard to earn your trust… We are profoundly sorry for this error and are determined to learn all the lessons we can from our mistake.”

Before the Senate in 2010, Google's Privacy Lead Alma Whitten testified: At "Google, privacy is something we think about every day across every level of our company. We make this effort because privacy is both good for our users and critical for our business."

Before the House in 2009, Google Deputy General Counsel Nicole Wong in 2009 testified"Putting our users first also means that we are deeply committed to their privacy…"

In short, Google is not walking its privacy talk.  

In sum, we also learn two important lessons from Google’s exceptional disrespect for privacy.

Data dominance determines digital destiny.

Data duplicity disguises digital dictates.




Google's Disrespect for Privacy Series

Part 1: Why Google is the Biggest Threat to Americans' Privacy; House Testimony [7-18-08]

Part 2: Google Book Settlement "absolutely silent on user privacy" [8-31-09]

Part 3: Yet more evidence of Google's hostility to privacy [9-4-09]

Part 4: Google's Schmidt: "Because we say so" on trusting Google's Privacy Dashboard [11-6-09]

Part 5: Fact Checking Google's New Privacy Principles [1-28-10]

Part 6: Google's Privacy "Buzz" Saw [2-11-10]

Part 7: Exposing Google's Systemic Privacy Vulnerabilities [5-15-10]

Part 8: What Private Information Google Collects -- A One-Page Fact Sheet [5-24-10]

Part 9: What else does Google secretly track? Top 10 questions for privacy investigators [6-2-10]

Part 10: Google's "Total Information Awareness" Power - A one-page graphic [6-4-10]

Part 11: Americans want online privacy -- per new Zogby poll [6-8-10]

Part 12: Why Privacy Is an Antitrust Issue & Why Google is its Poster Child [7-22-10]

Part 13: Google's Deep Tracking Inspection -- a privacy nightmare [8-31-10]

Part 14: Why is the FTC AWOL on Google Privacy? [10-27-10]

Part 15: Why Google's Privacy Controls are a Joke -- Lessons for FTC/FCC [11-11-10]

Part 16: Google's No Privacy by Design Business Model [3-17-11]

Part 17: FTC-Google Privacy Settlement Takeaways [3-31-11]

Part 18: Google vs Apple: How Business Models Drive Disrespect vs. Respect for Privacy [5-6-11]

Part 19: Big Brother Inc. -- My Huffington Post Op-ed on Google & Privacy [5-24-11]

Part 20: "G-Male:" a very funny new Google privacy satire [9-7-11]

Part 21: Where's the Market for Online Privacy? [1-31-12]

Part 22: Google's Latest Privacy Scandal Spin - A Satire [2-17-12]

Part 23: Google's Top 35 Privacy Scandals [2-22-12]

Part 24: Google's Privacy Excuse Algorithm Team - a Satire [3-16-12]

Part 25: Google's Privacy Rap Sheet [6-14-12]

Part 26: Why FTC's $22.5m Google Privacy-Fine is Faux Accountability [7-12-12]

Part 27: Google's Top Ten Anti-Privacy Quotes [10-15-12]

Part 28: The Unique Google Privacy Problem -- Korean Privacy Council in Seoul [10-25-12]

Part 29: Google's Privacy Words vs. Google's Anti-Privacy Deeds [3-8-13]

Part 30: Google's Privacy Rap Sheet: Fact-Checking Google's Claims on Privacy [3-13-13]

Part 31: Google's Creepy Glass-arazzi? [3-14-13]

Part 32: Six EU nations Revolt over Google's Virtual Colonialization of their Private Data [4-5-13]

Part 33: Big Brother Inc. - a One-page Graphic [6-10-13]

Part 34: Google Spy [7-8-13]

Part 35: Google's SpyGlass - Google's Big Rest-of-World Trust Problem [9-9-13]

Part 36: Video: Why Google's WiSpy Wiretapping is Now Class Action Catnip [9-16-13]

Part 37: Are Google Glass' Recordings Illegal Wiretapping Too? [12-9-13]

Part 38: Google's Empty Privacy Promises for Nest, Contacts, etc. [1-20-14]

Part 39: Widespread Wiretapping Could Have Snowden-esque Repercussions [3-20-14]

Part 40: Google’s Glass House