Google's obfuscation on privacy

Does Google have something to hide? A report in the New York Times claims that:It’s the only one of the big Internet companies that doesn’t put a link to its privacy policy on its home page.

Google privacy

Does Google have something to hide? A report in the New York Times claims that:

It’s the only one of the big Internet companies that doesn’t put a link to its privacy policy on its home page.

Indeed, Google believes so strongly that adding the phrase “privacy policy” to its famously Spartan home page would distract users that it has picked a fight with an advertising trade group over the issue.

One of the core principles of the group has been that its members should provide “clear and conspicuous notice” of how they collect and uses data. This has been interpreted to mean that a link to a site’s privacy policy should be on its home page.

Google, however, told the group that it would not comply with that rule.

You only have to look at Google's privacy policy center page to realize it has good reasons not to provide a link on its home page. (see image above) There are slightly different policies covering each type of service with which Google users engage. Just looking at the page makes me go 'What the heck?'

The report goes on to say that despite Google's non-compliance, it's application to join the Network Advertising Initiative is likely to be approved. The reasons are far from clear and NAI policies are said to be 'in a state of flux' - whatever that means. The author speculates that:

Some Internet executives wonder whether it is getting ready to start some sort of targeting system that might help its graphic ad network compete better with AOL’s more successful Advertising.com and others that do make use of information about users.

Privacy is an ever present issue for all users and business in particular. Why then does Google NOT have an issue in putting a link to its iGoogle privacy page which contains links to the prrivacy center? Confused? You should be.

I have said before that Google's ToS are inconsistent though others disagree. It now seems Google's attitude to presenting information required by a self-regulating body with which one would have thought it would wish to play ball is also inconsistent.