Google's Policy For Government Contracts Unchanged


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For those who are concerned about Google's new privacy policy, there has been yet another clarification. Essentially Google would like to make clear that the new blanket policy for the consumer space doesn't spill over into the Enterprise and Government sector and that no such data mining will be taking place in the services provided for those clients.

The announcement of the new policies from Google sparked a number of concerns from government officials.

SafeGov.Org issued several statements addressing their concerns over Google apps for government (GAFG) and how privacy will be handled in the future.

Here are some key statements from Karen Evans and Jeff Gould, privacy experts from SafeGov.Org:

"Google's new privacy policy will have a serious impact on the information collection practices and responsibilities for its GAFG service. By issuing this statement now, we seek to make government agencies aware of the issue before the new policy is implemented - and while there is still time to influence it."

"We recommend that Google immediately suspend the application of its new privacy policy to GAFG users. The default setting for GAFG and for all similar services from other vendors should be no information sharing at all between services. Furthermore, Google should clarify where its consumer product line ends and its enterprise products begin. Government users want to be assured that the cloud services they use are tailored to the unique security and privacy requirements of the public sector."

"We hope Google will receive the message from its many users at all levels of government that this new privacy policy should be reconsidered prior to implementation."

Google’s Amit Singh responds directly to these comments via email:

“Enterprise customers using Google Apps for Government, Business or Education have individual contracts that define how we handle and store their data. As always, Google will maintain our enterprise customers’ data in compliance with the confidentiality and security obligations provided to their domain. The new Privacy Policy does not change our contractual agreements, which have always superseded Google’s Privacy Policy for enterprise customers.”

So the privacy policy for government and enterprise is defined by previous contracts and will remained unchanged by the new policies for consumers. At the very least, their information is safe. Though consumers may still have legitimate cause for alarm.