Don’t overhype privacy fears on G1

Ryan Radia, Information Policy Analyst, Competitive Enterprise Institute – Washington, D.C. 

Don’t overhype privacy fears on G1  USA TODAY’s story on the G1 phone, which describes Google’s "surveillance" capabilities, does not do justice to the relationship that online service providers need to maintain with their users ("Feel like someone’s watching you?," Cover story, Money, Monday).

Google cannot freely use the data it collects from owners of its G1 phone. Far from it, the G1’s privacy policy describes clearly what Google can and cannot do with user information. And the policy is legally binding. Google has everything to lose and nothing to gain from a data breach.

A single privacy flub can send consumers fleeing from not only the G1 but also from Google’s other online services. This is why Google maintains robust privacy safeguards.

Google’s innovations in search, mail and other applications have helped make the Web a far more accessible and useful resource. Online users need to be careful with their information, but hyping privacy fears is unwarranted.

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