Google Says It Has Found Religion on Privacy

Posted in: Surveillance & Privacy at 08/05/2019 21:21

Google, the company that may know the most about our digital lives, is now preaching the gospel of privacy.

Speaking at an annual conference for developers on Tuesday, Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, delivered a message that seemed cognizant of today’s consumer privacy concerns but out of step with the company’s history of intensive online data collection.

“We think privacy is for everyone — not just for the few,” Mr. Pichai said. “We want to do more to stay ahead of constantly evolving user expectations.”

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Google vows greater user privacy, after decades of data collection
Google is jumping on the latest tech trend: privacy.

At its annual conference for software developers, the search and advertising giant showed off several new products and features that it said were created to help customers maintain control over their own data. Instead of the bulk of that data being shared with Google and stored in cloud computing centers, in the company’s vision, it would instead live on devices like mobile phones and tablet computers.

That would mark a big shift for Google, which relies on the reams of data to help train its artificial intelligence software to better function without human interference. And it could have implications for Google’s business model, which depends on advertising sales for nearly 90 cents out of every dollar it makes. Marketers have made Google the largest ad seller in the world in large part because of the comprehensive picture it can paint of users through the data it collects.

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