back to article Google dings missive to lawmakers: 'We're misunderstood'

Google has responded to US politicos who demanded answers after the advertising giant announced it was "simplifying" its privacy policies across its huge online estate. In a letter to eight members of Congress, Google's director of public policy, Pablo Chavez, explained he was hoping to "correct some of the misconceptions" …

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  1. Martin 47

    Dear Google

    What I, as a user, would like from you is a top notch search engine, unfortunately your search results are irrelevant shite at the moment.

    Please go back to what you used to be good at instead of pissing about trying to catch up with others in different areas.

    Thanks

    1. Aaron Em

      Dear user

      What we, as Google, would like from you is money. Unfortunately, unless it's called LexisNexis, nobody's willing to pay for access to a search engine whether top-notch or otherwise.

      Please consider changing your behavior in that regard instead of complaining about the profitable endeavors we must undertake in order that we can afford to provide the best search engine on the Web, free of charge.

      Sincerely yours, [...]

      1. Martin 47

        Dear Google

        I think you misunderstood me, I understand that you must make a profit and you get that by monetarising (sp?) as much of my personal information as you can. The return I expect for that is the best search engine that you can possibly be. For some while now you have been failing to provide that.

        So be a good chap and bugger off back to doing the search engine bit properly, as you used too.

        Thanks

        1. Aaron Em

          Dear user

          Your spelling is correct.

          Your standard, stated here, is that we provide "the best search engine that [we] can possibly be". We already do so; you may rest assured that, as it becomes possible to provide an even better search engine, we'll do that, too.

          Should you wish to continue this inquiry, please do so by indicating a requirement that's possible to satisfy. Thank you.

          Sincerely yours, [...]

          1. Martin 47

            Dear Google

            Thanks for confirming my spelling, as to the other matter, if that's the best you can do then I will stick with DuckDuckgo and others.

            Thanks

            1. Aaron Em

              Dear user

              And you actually think we care! So cute. You and your little friends go and have fun now.

              Sincerely yours, [...]

  2. Graham Marsden
    Devil

    @Dear user

    "What we would like from advertisers is money, as such, all your data, search queries, location information and anything else we can mine from what you do with any Google products online is fair game for us to sell to them.

    "Your privacy? Oh, you give that up when you use our services."

    1. Aaron Em

      What else do you expect?

      Nothing Google does is free, but if they were asking you to pay so much as a single thin dime you'd be screaming twice as loud, wouldn't you?

      1. wathend
        Alert

        Paid search, no way....

        We all pay for the Google searches in the end anyway. Their money comes from advertisiers whomistakenly think all of the users pay any attention to the paid results. This emans that we pay more for products and services and so on.

        I used to pay google via adsense years ago but pulled out as the results are crap. Spending the same money in print advertising and then getting "word of mouth" promo via discussion sites etc worked far better. My revenue grew and my products became cheaper for the customers.

  3. Turtle_Fan

    Truth be told though, we could use a sane, measured and hysteria-free summary on what exactly those changes mean. And I've yet to see that anywhere.

    If anyone has links, please post/respond.

    1. Rob 5

      We could also use a step by step guide to maximising privacy when using Google products, with info on where all of the different opt-outs have been hidden.

      Of course, it would need to be updated as they moved stuff around to confuse us - perhaps a wiki?

      1. Steven Roper
        Coat

        @Rob 5

        Here's a simple 3-step guide to maximising privacy when using Google products:

        1. Don't use Google products.

        2. ???

        3. PROFIT!!!

        1. Rob 5
          Happy

          Chuckle.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Separating connected-unconnected Google apps

    It seems to me a good option is to use one browser for GMail, and another browser for all other Google tools where you don't need an account. Am I right thinking cookies don't get shared between browsers?

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Browser separation

      Indeed, that is true.

      I use one browser (Chromium) for Google apps and Facebook, and *nothing else*. Even that is not ideal as YouTube links from Facebook know my log-in so I copy & past in to another browser for them.

      Ideally you need 3 different browsers, one Google, one Facebook, and another for the rest - including searches, with all cookies, etc, deleted on exit.

      Of course, there is also the scroogle plug-in for Firefox to help that.

      1. Aaron Em

        What do you get in exchange for all that effort?

        I mean, is it just for a little peace of mind, or is there some tangible return for it? Seems like a lot of work to go to just to reassure yourself, I guess. You know, like installing Linux so Bill Gates (well I guess Steve Ballmer now, but whichever) won't get the regular morning email listing all the porn sites you've visited in the last 24 hours, or whatever.

  5. ratfox

    Account deletion

    Considering the number of accounts that get hacked into, with the hacker then deleting all messages, I actually want Google to hold on to the data for a few weeks after deletion...

  6. Mike Flugennock
    Alert

    chocolate, privates, vise, etc.

    "Chocolate Factory promises it's not locking your privates in a vice"

    This can only mean one thing: they want to lock my privates in a vise.

    I knew right away that Google was up to no good early last week, when I went to catch a subway downtown, and noticed that in nearly every other train, every car had almost every available square inch of advertising space plastered with light, airy, cheery ads talking about their wonderful new way of tracking users and why they need to, and why they need to stuff you full of cookies, etc.

    What had to be the stupidest one of the bunch was one that explains why they need to know your search habits in order to serve you search results for "VW Beetle" when you want "VW Beetle" and not "beetle", the insect. Jeezus H. Christ on a stick. If all I want is results for "VW Beetle", all I have to do is click on "Advanced Search" and type "VW Beetle" into the "exact phrase" field. How goddamn' tough is _that_?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How do I delete Googles history without logging in?

    OK, so I use Google Search, Maps and Youtube here on this machine in work. I don't log in to any Google accounts. How do I manage the "profile" that Google has developed of this browser, based on the things I search for, the locations I check on Maps, and the videos I watch on Youtube, without logging into a Google account? Am I not entitled to the same level of privacy management on this machine as I am on my home machine, given that my work PC probably has a more detailed "profile" of me, except for my Gmail address, giving that I spend a hell of a lot more time in this browser than the one at home?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Delete your profile = Delete your cookies

      How hard is it?

      1. Al Jones

        But does that work?

        Do they repopulate it from other sources (IP address, browser fingerprint, flash cookies, etc)?

        If it's that straightforward, why isn't it addressed in the privacy policy, which only addresses privacy management for users who log in, while explicitly acknowledging that you can be a user of the services without logging in?

  8. JoshOvki
    Stop

    If you don't like it...

    dot use it. It is as simple as that. No one is forcing you to use googles products, it is your own choice. Their are plenty of alternatives available.

  9. Ben Liddicott
    WTF?

    Tracking of children - you can't turn it off

    You can only turn off tracking and set privacy option sby logging in (?) to a google account.

    You can't have a google account if you are under 13.

    So if you are under 13 you can't turn off tracking or have privacy options...

    Hmmm.....

  10. Just a random academic

    A title used to be required and had to contain letters and/or numbers

    TBH, Google are far better than most companies. At least they tell you *exactly* what data they're storing via their dashboard service.

  11. chuckles-2k12
    Coat

    using a proxy

    search engine like http://www.zuula.com/, Google doesn't know who I am and one aspect at least of my privacy is ensured. Or so I've been led to believe...

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