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Google Answers Privacy Questions Over Google Books

Sets Up Privacy FAQ Page

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Google signed a settlement agreement with authors and publishers last year over Google Books. Google says that if it is approved by the court, it will unlock access to millions of books for anyone in the United States.

Today, Google has addressed privacy concerns that users and potential users have voiced with regards to Google Books.

"We have a strong privacy policy in place now for Google Books and for all Google products," says Dan Clancy, Engineering Director for Google Books. "But our settlement agreement hasn’t yet been approved by the court, and the services authorized by the agreement haven’t been built or even designed yet. That means it’s very difficult (if not impossible) to draft a detailed privacy policy."

Google Books

He does say however, that the product will come equipped with privacy protections and that users will have clear information and choices about privacy. It sounds like users will be able to pick who their data (if any) gets shared with.

The company has set up a FAQ page about Google Books and Privacy, which can be viewed here at the Inside Google Books blog. Questions addressed here include:

 

- What is Google going to do to ensure reader privacy if the settlement is approved?

- Will Google give data about individual users to the Book Rights Registry?

- Will Google be selling data on what users read to other parties?

- Will users have to get a Google account to use Google Books? What about students at colleges or universities?

- If someone uses a free public access terminal in a public library, what data will you keep about them and what they read?

- Why weren’t privacy provisions included in the settlement?

Google says that the may update the FAQ page as product plans evolve. There will no doubt be more questions asked, so if you are concerned about this stuff, it’s probably a good idea to bookmark the page.

IF the settlement is approved, you can expect Google’s collection to grow significantly. Google recently gained access to book collections from the University of Texas and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as long as the settlement is upheld.

Google Answers Privacy Questions Over Google Books
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