Google faces new privacy probes.

by Erick Diaz

WSJ:

Regulators in the U.S. and European Union are investigating Google for bypassing the privacy settings of millions of users of Apple’s Safari Web browser, according to people familiar with the investigations. Google stopped the practice last month after being contacted by The Wall Street Journal.

We will of course cooperate with any officials who have questions,” a Google spokeswoman said. “But it’s important to remember that we didn’t anticipate this would happen, and we have been removing these advertising cookies from Safari browsers.

“We didn’t anticipate this would happen”…are you kidding me? From Larry Page down to the guy who refills the candy in the cafeteria, they all knew what would happen. To imply that a building full of engineers and people with a college education did not know that this could happen is such a stupid thing to say, the PR clown who said that should be working cleaning toilets.

” and we have been removing these advertising cookies from Safari browsers.” Translation, you caught us with our hands in the cookie jar and we are doing everything in our power to remove the crumbs before mom gets here.

I have no problem with Google trying to track me to serve more “relevant” ads. It’s the price we pay for their “free” services (nothing in life is free). But at least tell me what you are doing and don’t overrun my privacy settings just because you don’t like them. I was using Chrome, after Firefox went to the gutter with all the freaking updates, but now I’m back to Safari. I’m using Sparrow for email on the Mac, just so that Google doesn’t serve me those stupid irrelevant ads on top of the page. You would think that after scanning my email they would have some idea of what ads to put up, but the fact is that even after spying on me, the ads are crap and never in my life would I click on something put up there.

This is the problem with Google, the user is not the client, the client is the advertiser and that’s who they care about. I know Apple and Microsoft are also big evil corporations, but at least I know they are selling their products to me. With Google (and Facebook for that matter) the product is you, to pretend they care about privacy, or what their users want is naive to say the least.

I’ll keep using Safari with the third party cookies blocked and the “Do not track me” header. If Google wants me to tell them what I like, they have to show some care first, and at least respect when someone says “don’t track me”. If it was the default, and they felt like it was so important, why not put a pop up on the Safari Browser warning that not setting cookies would disable some services? Honesty is always the best policy, even for the almighty Google who “Does no Evil”.

Via Huffington Post