Barney's Blog

Blog archive

Google's Misplaced Privacy Fines

A record-breaking $22.5 million fine was slapped on Google for violations. And although the company fully deserved them, they were, at the same time, misplaced.

The fine largely revolved around Safari and issues around opting out of Doubleclick ad tracking -- really the least of Google user worries. Even after you may have opted out, cookies still tracked you, despite the fact that Safari was designed to block these cookies in the first place.

The fines also related to Google Buzz (now Google+). One problem with Buzz was that as a Gmail user, all the stuff you did was shared with all your Gmail contacts. Oops.

Gmail later was found guilty of reading your e-mail and sending out ads depending on what you wrote or received. Handy and invasive.

The $22-plus million is a pittance, as Google made nearly $40 billion last year (almost all of this from ads, despite that fact that, to my knowledge, Google doesn't have a single journalist, author or real content creator on staff). It creates virtually no content, yet makes more from content than the world's largest media company News Corp. (which only brought in $33 billion and has over 50,000 employees).

The fine was misplaced because Google does far worse privacy damage when Streetview sniffs out our Mac addresses.

Google really doesn't care and, in fact, the fine wasn't for privacy violations but for contempt due to how the company acted after it was found to violate privacy.

Posted by Doug Barney on 08/15/2012 at 1:19 PM


Featured

  • Azure Active Directory Connect Preview Adds Support for Disconnected AD Forests

    Microsoft on Thursday announced a preview of a new "Cloud Provisioning" feature for the Azure Active Directory Connect service that promises to bring together scattered Active Directory "forests."

  • Microsoft Defender ATP Gets macOS Investigation Support

    The endpoint and detection response (EDR) feature in Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) has reached the "general availability" stage for macOS devices.

  • How To Block Self-Service Purchasing in Microsoft's Power Platform

    Microsoft threw Office 365 admins a bone when it gave them the ability to block users from purchasing Power Platform tools without IT approval. Here's how to prevent total anarchy.

  • Azure DevOps Services Losing Support for Alternate Credentials

    Microsoft gave notice last week that it's going to drop Alternate Credentials support for authenticating users of its Azure DevOps Services.

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.