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

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.

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TOPICS: Legal, Google, Security
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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

David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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27 comments
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  • RE: Dear Google: our privacy is not the usual yada, yada

    Technically they said it was NOT the usual Yada yada. So they didn't call privacy "Yada Yada" but all teh other stuff they usually post on the bottom of the search bar.
    Socratesfoot
    • RE: Dear Google: our privacy is not the usual yada, yada

      @Socratesfoot Is he upset over the comparison to yada yada? This article is NOT stupid and pointless. The author does NOT make a terrible, nonsensical point.
      kingcobra23
  • Corporate-speak legalesse is all 'yadda yadda'...

    but I can help. Allow me to translate *all* web and cloud companies terms of service for you, "You the customer have no rights. We the provider have no responsibilities. We also own everything you do, or say, or create on or transmit over our service. If you don't like it, tough."

    Regards,
    Jon
    JonathonDoe
    • LOL

      @JonathonDoe Good interpretation! :)
      safesax2002
    • RE: Dear Google: our privacy is not the usual yada, yada

      @JonathonDoe Nice one, Jon. lol.
      Grammarphile72
    • Kinda like our government these days

      @JonathonDoe

      No?
      klumper
    • Another +1

      @JonathonDoe

      Long time ago I signed up for Nikons picture sharing thing, been so long I forget what they call it.

      Started reading and golly, Nikon owns anything a user puts up there.

      And didn't Apple have a EULA on some program that if you used the program to create something Apple owned it?

      The cyberworld is just following the meat worlds lead. When you applied for a job did you read the fine print? Almost all employment contracts (applications) state the employing company owns you're intellectual property.

      Say you're employed and see a better way to do something, you can't quit and start you're own company because you don't own the idea. And some of those contracts even read as far as, if you create something at home that has nothing to do with your job tough luck, the employer still owns it.

      And "If you don't like it, tough."
      .
      rmhesche
  • RE: Dear Google: our privacy is not the usual yada, yada

    wtf did I just (tried to) read? Did you forget to drink your coffee this morning?
    It says NOT the usual yada yada.
    Jean-Pierre-
    • Yes, but, does that mean.......

      @Jean-Pierre- that their prior privacay policies were just usual Yadda Yadda?
      How long has Google been around and we find out now that they've just been giving everyone Yadda Yadda Privacy....until Now?
      xuniL_z
      • RE: Dear Google: our privacy is not the usual yada, yada

        @xuniL_z

        I'm pretty sure they mean that every one else has a EULA full of jargon that no one understands anyway, and therefore doesn't bother reading.
        tkejlboom
  • RE: Dear Google: our privacy is not the usual yada, yada

    Last week I purchased a product from Amazon and was asked if I wanted to let my friends on Facebook know about my purchase. This was the moment I realized things had gone too far. I immediately closed down my Facebook account and began the process of moving my email from Google to a company that makes its money from selling email services. I haven't figured out what to do about Amazon yet.

    A question for those who publish their lives online (Facebook or Google+): what is the benefit you receive in return for your information? How do you profit from putting your information were it can be used commercially by Google or Facebook?

    In the past I thought free or very cheap email hosting was worth the exchange with Gmail. Now I do not. I never thought Facebook offered me anything. Being able to see pictures of my friend's dog or having a place to post happy birthday never seemed a worthwhile exchange for my personal information.
    txscott
  • Amen

    "Yada yada" in this context is a disparagement and disparagements are rarely appropriate.
    John L. Ries
    • RE: Dear Google: our privacy is not the usual yada, yada

      @John L. Ries

      Except that to one with reading comprehension, what is being disparaged isn't 'priavcy' but rather EULA agreements that are written so obtusely that no one can possibly understand them....
      Doctor Demento
  • RE: Dear Google: our privacy is not the usual yada, yada

    They aren't saying Privacy is "Yada Yada" They are saying that it has been re-worded so that the typical person without a law degree can understand it. News must be slim today. How about writing an article about the few things that scare you about the new policy changes?
    MPartridge1987
  • RE: Dear Google: our privacy is not the usual yada, yada

    I don't mind sharing personal data that I CHOSE to share. No problem.<br><br>But I have two Gmail accounts. One public and one private. I don't want Google deciding to lump together and revealing my public data to people I communicate with using my private account. This is what they plan to do even if I don't chose it !
    saoir
  • RE: Dear Google: our privacy is not the usual yada, yada

    Mountains......molehills.....take an anti-psychotic and come back tomorrow
    Doctor Demento
  • Easy, David.

    It's just Google trying to be--you know-----cute.
    Userama
    • <i></i>

      <i></i>
      xuniL_z
    • "Google" and "cute" are mutually exclusive.

      @Userama Now an attractive woman can normally pull off acting or trying to be cute. Companies that have a friendly appeal, like Dairy Queen, Ben and Jerry's, or Proctor and Gamble, perhaps, can be cute.
      But Google? Never.
      That is comparable to Dick Cheney trying to be cute. It just doesn't work, they are incapable of it, without it seeming creepy and somehow evil.
      xuniL_z
  • Another "miss"

    I am actively looking for things this new policy allows which old one did not. So far I've seen a lot of Chicken Little and no genuine, threatening facts. Obsessing because Googles uses a disparaging term prefixed with the word, "Not" doesn't help me at all.
    codepoke