Google Plays Up The Privacy Reasons For Not Handing Over Data

from the well,-of-course dept

Last month when it first came out that Google had refused to turn over search data when a Justice Department subpoena asked for it (in a case not involving Google), lots of people focused on how Google was protecting user privacy. The reality probably had more to do with protecting Google trade secrets. Now Google has filed a response that discusses both reasons for turning down the request, while also calling the feds "uninformed" about how search technology works. It may be true that both reasons were important, but would Google have been so concerned about the privacy issues if there weren't trade secret issues as well?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2006 @ 3:42pm

    No Subject Given

    NO!

    End of discussion.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Raw Iraq Videos, Feb 17th, 2006 @ 4:43pm

    Google - Raw Video Footage

    Google has some great content, check out my Iraq War Blog with Raw Video Footage.<br>http://iraqvideoblog.blogspot.com

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Bill, Feb 17th, 2006 @ 5:00pm

    No Subject Given

    Nice point that Google cares more about privacy when it affects its business interests in trade secret. It's nice that their reasoning also speaks for interests of individuals, whether its out of good will, self-interest, or (more likely) a mixture of both.

     

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  4.  
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    Tim, Feb 17th, 2006 @ 5:07pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    We, as individuals and particularly in some techie media, tend to take privacy (and, for that matter, freedom of speech) as a right, without giving much thought as to why it's a good (indeed necessary) thing. Google, as a business, has to justify its decisions, meaning it can't take it for granted that user-privacy is necessarily right. I suggest that you have to keep a rationale ready, something like `if you violate people's privacy, the potential for nasty people to do bad things to them based on their once-private data increases', perhaps.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Danno, Feb 17th, 2006 @ 5:08pm

    No Subject Given

    Man, Google can't catch a break these days, huh?

    What do they need to do to get back in the good graces of techies? Give out candy?

     

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  6.  
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    Professor Highbrow, Feb 17th, 2006 @ 5:10pm

    I second that Emotion....

    I 2nd the motion, "NO!"
    Nay, nicht, nie, nein.

    Google has made it fairly clearly already that they are unconcerned with political principles [E.g. Freedom of Speech] and more concerned with their capital....
    Unmodestly displayed in the whole China governmental debacle, they obvious don't give a flying flyuck about the 1st Ammendendment which they enjoy and profit from in the USA.

    Only their bottom line.

    To Google, Business Ethics is an oxymoron.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Professor Highbrow, Feb 17th, 2006 @ 5:58pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    "What do they need to do to get back in the good graces of techies? Give out candy?"

    Yep, free candy and a reversal back to the way they were 3 years ago when they weren't full of sh!t advertising. And free candy, and they have to cry and apologize for being so mean on national TV so we can all poke at them with pointy sticks.
    Techies are mad 'cuz they've turned into Dr. FrankenGoogle's Monster, and put their unwelcome private parts in front of political issues.

    Blame--->Google.
    Capitalist company willing to censor for the sake of bad Communism in China?
    They don't deserve to operate in the West... we have a little problem with overly-oppressive governments for some reason. Probably because we've fought against it for well over a century.

    'Git the learn on
    --Professor HighBrow

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2006 @ 6:00pm

    Re: I second that Emotion....

    if you think about it, woudnt it be better for the chinese to get limited information than none at all

     

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  9.  
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    captainIA, Feb 17th, 2006 @ 9:23pm

    Re: I second that Emotion....

    I'm still confused about this "Chinese governmental debacle" thing. It isn't Google's responsibility to stick up for the first amendment so if they can make a buck serving censored pages to the Chinese then why is that a problem??

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Duh.. which way did he go .. uhhh, Feb 17th, 2006 @ 10:54pm

    Re: I second that Emotion....

    I don't see the problem with Google and China, I mean if there IS a PROBLEM then why the HELL is everything made in China?

    If the Bush Administration is haveing a problem with Google only, why not be fair and also go after Palm, and almost 99.9% of all other American companies outsourcing manufacturing products in China because its much cheaper and sell them in the US market. At lease we would get millions of jobs back in the U.S.

    If this president knows his ass from his face, then he should be posing huge taxes on imports and ban outsourcing. This would create many jobs, and pay off the huge debt. Also make taxes fair for everyone, not just the rich.

    Hmm ya, I know, we all like our Lexuses, Hondas, VWs Toyotas, and many other nice things from europe, But if you get your facts streight, most of those cars are made in Detroit, California and New York which is fine.

    OK I got somewhat off topic, but:
    All im saying that our money is being outsourced too.

    If we dont have jobs, and banks dont have money because we are in debt, and owe billions to china and europe, WTF are we going to do? Stick our thumbs in our asses?

    You guys should start watching C-SPAN more, THERE IS BIG TROUBLE AHEAD in the US Economy. America is soooo FUCKED UP, that it will take at least 10 years to get it back on track to where we were 6 years ago!

    I know I can watch C-Span all day, CUZ I HAVE NO JOB!!!!!!

    Thanks you fucking cocksuckers Bush and Cheney and your damn war machine criminal administration, oh ya and your oil company and your defence company and haliburton. Why else would one want endless war if you own a defence company .. duh..

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    ;iterate, Feb 18th, 2006 @ 12:04am

    Re: I second that Emotion....

    well Duh, maybe you dont have a job because you are illiterate. Defense is spelled with an S. and it's not a typo when you do it twice in the same sentence, and straight is not spelled with an E. Second, if you want fair taxation..go to http://www.fairtax.org Third, its obvious by your illiteracy and complaing about things you have no indepth clue on shows you must be a democrat. Oh yes, the democratic solution...tax the hell out of everything you can to pay for your incredibly bad spending habits and lack of financial responsibilities.
    Hmmm

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Shaheer Khan, Feb 18th, 2006 @ 1:58am

    No Subject Given

    Go Google! I'm sure it'll sustain. I want it to sustain.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2006 @ 2:44am

    Re: I second that Emotion....

    I can imagine few things more moronic than the belief that the slimeballs running the country at the moment have some kind of 'financial responsibility'.

    Wow.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Aris Katsaris, Feb 18th, 2006 @ 3:37am

    Re: I second that Emotion....

    Defense is spelled with an S. and it's not a typo when you do it twice in the same sentence,

    Yay for our god-given right to linguistic parochialism! British English ought to be *banned*.

    And btw, when you are referring to the political party, you ought to capitalize it like this: "Democrat", "Democratic" (and same with Republican), because otherwise your expressed meaning is "a supporter of democracy" -- which is hardly an insult, I hope you'll agree.

    Also "complaing" ought to be spelled "complaining", and your "well Duh" ought to be spelled "Well, duh"

     

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  15.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Feb 18th, 2006 @ 1:24pm

    Re: I second that Emotion....

    I'm still confused about this "Chinese governmental debacle" thing. It isn't Google's responsibility to stick up for the first amendment so if they can make a buck serving censored pages to the Chinese then why is that a problem??

    It's scary just how many people have missed the point on this one, despite it being explained over and over again.

    People aren't upset about that specifically. They're upset that Google made certain promises, saying that they would never do such a thing -- and then backed down on it. It was Google going back on its word that upset people.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Seth, Feb 18th, 2006 @ 2:09pm

    Why is everyone complaining?

    What's the issue here? A company is trying to make money? Big deal that's what they do. They didn't pass up the opportunity to share their site with millions of people and didn't want their secrets reveiled. Big deal.
    You security nuts are just that, nuts. Have any of you worked for the government? I used to work for the federal government and let me tell you that they are so backed up with information and the whole system is so bureaucratic that even if they had back doors to everything they wouldn't know anything. The problem with intelligence isn't lack of information but lack of ability to process it. Get a life.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    iterative, Feb 18th, 2006 @ 5:46pm

    Re: I second that Emotion....

    "pay for your incredibly bad spending habits and lack of financial responsibilities."

    You shouldn't be so hard on the Bush Administration, my man.

    Democrats ---> tax the hell out of you
    Republicans ---> tax the hell out of your kids

    Yeah, I'm down with that.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Blue, Feb 18th, 2006 @ 9:05pm

    Google is not as bad as you think

    I think google is getting a bad rap about the China censorship. Other companies are doing the same thing. You just hear about google. Google is actually in the fight along with yahoo and microsoft to get the U.S government to do something about it. That is a huge market to lose and none of those companies want to lose market share so they have to do something.

    Google is not the devil. Every company will protect trade secrets it is not a new thing. I would trust google more than i would Yahoo. Yahoo already sells some of your information.

    They are not perfect by any means but a company as big as they are now is going to start getting looked at with a magnifing glass. Google has pushed the search engine industry to improve...is that something to get mad about..they have pushed innovation, they have changed the way some tech offices run....many good things have come out of google...but with ANY company they are going to be concerned with profits specially if they have stock. They constantly push to make Wallstreet expectations.

    Give them a break....they at least stood up to them for whatever reason and didn't release the information.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    ElectricMayhem, Mar 1st, 2006 @ 6:12pm

    Re: Google is not as bad as you think

    Errrrrgghhmmm....excuse me....but given the net worth of this company.....why don't they buy an island somewhere...declare it Googleland, run everything from it and then no one can touch them!!!!!

     

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