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Google’s ‘Busting Myths’ Of Microsoft’s New Ad

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Google’s ‘Busting Myths’ Of Microsoft’s New Ad
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C’mon, you didn’t think Microsoft was going to go scott-free after those ad jabs it took at Google concerning the latter’s new privacy policy, did you?

In a post this afternoon on their Public Policy Blog, Google Policy Manager Betsy Masiello (Lord, she’s had a lot of fires to put out lately) itemized a number of claims made by Microsoft’s full-page newspaper ad about Google’s new Privacy Policy. In a clear Myth vs. Fact format, she addressed each claim made by Microsoft, along with a couple of other sources, and debunked each of the “myths” perpetrated by Microsoft’s ad. Below is the collection of rebuttals from the blog post.


  • Myth: In 2011, Google made $36 billion selling information about users like you. [Fairsearch]

  • Fact: Google does not sell, trade or rent personally identifiable user information. Advertisers can run ads on Google that are matched to search keywords, or use our services to show ads based on anonymous data, such as your location or the websites you’ve visited.
  • Myth: Google’s Privacy Policy changes make it harder for users to control their personal information. [Microsoft]
  • Fact: Our privacy controls have not changed. Period. Our users can: edit and delete their search history; edit and delete their YouTube viewing history; use many of our services signed in or out; use Google Dashboard and our Ads Preferences Manager to see what data we collect and manage the way it is used; and take advantage of our data liberation efforts if they want to remove information from our services.
  • Myth: Google is changing our Privacy Policy to make the data we collect more valuable to advertisers. [Microsoft]
  • Fact: The vast majority of the product personalization Google does is unrelated to ads—it’s about making our services better for users. Today a signed-in user can instantly add an appointment to their Calendar when a message in Gmail looks like it’s about a meeting, or read Google Docs within their email.
  • Myth: Google reads your email. [Microsoft]
  • Fact: No one reads your email but you. Like most major email providers, our computers scan messages to get rid of spam and malware, as well as show ads that are relevant to you.
  • Myth: Google Apps aren’t safe, and aren’t government-certified. [Microsoft]
  • Fact: Google’s Apps are certified for government use because they are secure.
  • Myth: Google’s Privacy Policy changes jeopardize government information in Google Apps. [SafeGov.org]
  • Fact: Our new Privacy Policy does not change our contractual agreements, which have always superseded Google’s Privacy Policy for enterprise customers.
  • Myth: Microsoft’s approach to privacy is better than Google’s. [Microsoft]
  • Fact: We don’t make judgments about other people’s policies or controls. But our industry-leading Privacy Dashboard, Ads Preferences Manager and data liberation efforts enable you to understand and control the information we collect and how we use it—and we’ve simplified our privacy policy to make it easier to understand. Microsoft has no data liberation effort or Dashboard-like hub for users. Their privacy policy states that “information collected through one Microsoft service may be combined with information obtained through other Microsoft services.”
  • Masiello couldn’t resist slipping in one parting blow to Microsoft at the end of the post by dishing the one-two combo, saying “It’s best to focus on our users rather than negative attacks on other companies.” Don’t be surprised if this isn’t the last lunge-and-parry you see between Google and other technology leaders. Twitter? Facebook? Any of you want to enter the fray?

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    • http://www.LAokay.com Steven G

      Listen, if Google or Microsoft were to sell the information outright, they would be loosing out on repeat advertisers. The most they do is tell advertisers of the specified criteria of the advertiser how many people are expected to be reached through their 3rd party publishing network of Adsense (websites, mobile websites, apps, etc.) and any Google owned sites running Adsense (like Google’s search engine, gmail, google maps, etc.). I have no problem with that. Google has made great strides with letting users turn off things like web history, or deleting past history, or allowing or removing access from products or services from accessing certain information.