Dear Google: our privacy is not the usual yada, yada

Summary:Our privacy is not, nor has it ever been, yada yada. Our privacy is not something you dismiss with a wave of your hand, a weak smile, and a shrug, as if we're petulant children.

I want to go on record here with another rant. Google recently changed its privacy policy, and as ZDNet's Editor-in-Chief Larry Dignan stated, there's some good, there's some bad, and there's some scary.

Meanwhile, on Google's home page, they're running yet another fun Google Doodle, and at the bottom of the page is the statement, "We’re changing our privacy policy and terms. Not the usual yada yada."

Our privacy is not, nor has it ever been, yada yada. Our privacy is not something you dismiss with a wave of your hand, a weak smile, and a shrug, as if we're petulant children. Our privacy is something we cherish, we value, and we demand.

I admit there's a paradox. We tweet and use Facebook, and put everyone on the 4-1-1-1 phone plan (too much information). Worse, few of us ever read through the "agreements" we're supposedly agreeing to. Even though most consumers aren't attorneys and don't know the implications of privacy loss -- and, in fact, think of these agreements as yada, yada -- that doesn't mean they're not important on a fundamental level.

This reminds me of another gripe. A few weeks ago, at one of the many Republican debates I've been watching with popcorn and amusement, Ron Paul made mention of our Constitutional rights. The moderator and the other candidates all chuckled, and I one of them even implied that that old Constitution thing was something that Paul was always just going on about.

Our Constitution and our Constitutional rights are not something else to be dismissed as yet just so much more yada yada.

Look, just because some people haven't fully thought through the implications of what our extreme lack of privacy might mean doesn't mean that we all are fine with our privacy and our Constitutional rights being assaulted on all sides.

I'm a big fan of Google, I like what they do, I like many of their products, and I'm not even upset about the changes in their privacy policy, although like Larry, some of them do worry me a bit.

What ticks me off is that "yada yada" bit. I never, ever want to have Big Brother (or a Google Doodle) talk about privacy in terms of "yada yada".

Topics: Legal, Google, Security

About

In addition to hosting the ZDNet Government and ZDNet DIY-IT blogs, CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer David Gewirtz is an author, U.S. policy advisor and computer scientist. He is featured in The History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets, is one of America's foremost cyber-security experts, and is a top expert on savi... Full Bio

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