Google Executive Chairman Warns Against Regulation

    February 29, 2012

On Tuesday, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt warned regulators that technology should be allowed to develop its own solutions rather than forcing invasive privacy laws that could stifle innovation and stall foreward progress:

“There’re so many new technologies that help protect privacy … that you hope the privacy regulator will never restrict that,”

“[The] unintended cost of regulation is often the loss of innovation.”

“If you have to regulate, try to regulate the outcome not the technology. If there’s an outcome that you don’t like, don’t specify in law a technical solution because technology moves forward,”

Remember, on Thursday new Google privacy policy goes into effect. Essentially the new blanket policy will allow Google to take user information from all Google products and employ that information to offer an enhanced experience. What does that mean? It means user preferences will be taken from YouTube, Gmail, Google+, and others to provide targeted advertising, suggest relevant products, and offer related services.

I don’t know that it carries the ominous threat that we have been lead to believe. The danger, I guess, is that they are storing our data and it could be misused if put in the wrong hands. But as Google themselves will tell you, there are ways to opt out.

Google search, privacy director Alma Whitten wrote in an editorial for the Sacramento Bee:

“We just want to use the information you already trust us with to make your experience better,”

“If you don’t think information sharing will improve your experience, you don’t need to sign in to use services like Search, Maps and YouTube.”

“If you are signed in, you can use our many privacy tools to do things like edit or turn off your search history, control the way Google tailors ads to your interests and browse the Web ‘incognito’ using Chrome.”

Obviously the discussion of how to safely regulate private information needs to carry on, but I don’t believe Google is doing anything evil with their new policy on privacy. There’s options for those who don’t wish to participate, if fact, you can opt not to use Google products at all.