Since 2004, Safer Internet Day has been celebrated annually on the second day of the second week of the second month of the year – and that would be today – February, 7th, 2012.
Predictably, and quite ironically, Google has decided that it wants to join in on the global Internet safety awareness effort. On their homepage there is a link directing people to a “family safety” page they put together. I would never attack Google on wanting to help users, in creating a safer Internet, and in providing greater protection of private user information. I would absolutely encourage it and I would even assist Google by spreading the word out to everybody. However, I must call out Google’s hypocrisy and the irony of them celebrating an event funded by a group Google basically recently just snubbed.
I’m sure Google is desperate to try to give off the appearance that it really cares about its users and how much it values your personal information, but its actions contradict that. People need to tell Google that we had enough with the PR stunts and we want real changes.
Google claims it wants to track you all over the Internet to better serve you better and give you a better experience online – but who are they trying to fool? The more Google tracks your every move, the more Google knows about everything you do. It also means more advertising money for Google. Google is desperate to hang onto advertisers. One way to do so is to harvest your personal information so that they can give advertisers a more complete picture of exactly who you are, which they believe will help target specific advertisements to you.
The European Commission takes privacy very seriously. In fact, they recently laid out plans to adopt more effective, comprehensive, and stringent polices to protect the data of individuals. Some steps they want to implement are to give users the ability to demand Internet companies, such as Google, to not sell their personal information to advertisers. They also want companies to delete all data they have of people completely if asked to do so because people should have the “right to be forgotten”.
After the European regulators told Google to stop right there and hang on a minute, Google fired back at the groups and basically said tough luck but we’re doing what we want whether you give us your stamp of approval or not.
So, isn’t it ironic that now Google is promoting an event on Internet safety which is an initiative of and funded by the same European regulators Google told to get lost? Google thinks the European regulators are too demanding and a nuisance to them when it involves an investigation into Google’s own practices, but Google has no problem using the same European regulators’ initiative to make them look good to people. Shame on Google! The company is all talk and nothing else. Beware of the wolf in sheep’s clothing.
To read the article I wrote and posted here on Europeans rejecting Google, click here
To read the article I wrote and posted here on American congress grilling Google over privacy, click here
I highly recommend this article explaining in detail the fight between Google and the European regulators, click here
To visit the Safer Internet Organization’s website, please do click here