International Data Privacy Day and Google's Guiding Privacy Principles
Article by George Norman
On 28 Jan 2010
Today, the 28th of January is International Data Privacy day. As presented by the official website, this is an “international celebration of the dignity of the individual expressed through personal information.” Basically, since people of all backgrounds and ages (including children under 15 as a recent study has shown) are sharing more personal data via social networking sites, photo-sharing services, personal blogs, and so on, it is important to draw attention to the fact that some of the data you share must remain private.

To recognize International Data Privacy Day, Mountain View-based search engine giant Google has shared with the public its guiding privacy principles. I’m guessing that after the Erich Schmidt comment (you know, the one that got Mozilla founding member Asa Dotzler so fired up that he suggested we switch to Bing), Google’s PR guys will use any occasion they can to reassure us that Google really cares about privacy.


Getting back to the topic at hand, here are Google’s guiding privacy principles:

  • Use information to provide our users with valuable products and services.
  • Develop products that reflect strong privacy standards and practices.
  • Make the collection of personal information transparent.
  • Give users meaningful choices to protect their privacy.
  • Be a responsible steward of the information we hold.

“We've always operated with these principles in mind. Now, we're just putting them in writing so you have a better understanding of how we think about these issues from a product perspective. Like our design and software guidelines, these privacy principles are designed to guide the decisions we make when we create new technologies. They are one of the key reasons our engineers have worked on new privacy-enhancing initiatives and features like the Google Dashboard, the Ads Preferences Manager and the Data Liberation Front. And there is more in store for 2010,” commented Alan Eustace, Senior Vice President, Engineering & Research.

Tags: International Data Privacy, Google, Privacy principles
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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