Oxford Student: Beware Of Google

University of Oxford

Back in January, I referred you to an article written by a student at Canada’s McGill University. She wrote the article for the McGill Tribune, which is their student publication. In it she described how Google’s more intrusive privacy policy is very troubling and she then vowed to not use Google again after its new privacy policy took effect.

I love the article because it describes how many people are feeling, and the student author had the courage to voice her opinion against Google’s erosion of our privacy. For more on this, please click here.

The other day I stumbled across another student publication, this time from The University of Oxford. The Oxford Student published an article titled “Beware of the Google-y Eyes” and it’s definitely something worth reading. The article argues many points which I have brought up on this blog, including how Google forces us to choose between two extremes, the deceptiveness of Google’s new privacy policy, the greedy desire to harvest more personal data from us in order to maximize profits, the tracking of our web habits using tracking cookies, the fundamental right of privacy, etc.

Here are some highlights from the article:

“The policy is laced with the false promise of making privacy a ‘priority.’  The deceptive phrasing of the policy may initially take you in, but read in-between the lines and it smacks of disingenuity “

  • So true…..so true….

“The tech giant intends to track our cookies in order to garner knowledge about our web-browsing habits and then sell this valuable information on to advertisers to maximise its profits.”

  • Yep – it’s so obvious.

“The definition of ‘personal data’ in Google’s Privacy Policy is inconsistent with the Directive’s definition and the policy fails to cover all items of sensitive personal data required by the European legislation. The incoherency of the policy also militates against the Safe Harbor’s requirement for clarity.”

  • Yes. This is why the EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has said that Google’s new privacy policy breaks EU laws. She said she takes privacy very seriously and that she will not tolerate “sneaky” behavior from Google. There is more drama to unfold from this soon – get your popcorn ready!

“The burning question is whether privacy is a tradable commodity which we can impliedly waive in return for these services…Yet, even in this modern age of social networking, there is something deeply unsettling about the thought that this fundamental human right could be rendered otiose in the realms of cyberspace”

  • Privacy is a fundamental human right, indeed! It is absolutely unreasonable for Google to demand that we forfeit our privacy to use their products. Many fear-mongers will tell you that you need give away your privacy or there will be no Internet – well, guess what, we refuse to sell our souls to Google. We refuse to be victims of extortion, we refuse to be gouged and ripped-off by Google! Our personal data is our own and Google should respect that.

To read the full article, please click here

One last thing – I will like to thank the folks at http://www.newsy.com for including this blog in your news report on Google.  Their video is below:

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