Can we trust web companies?
Answering questions of digital devices and privacy
- Duration 6:17
- Date Feb 26, 2012
Answering questions of digital devices and privacy
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
What happens to your personal information when you're on the Internet.
If you go on Google your every move is being tracked and shared when advertisers.
But is it about us or them.
-- -- consumer advocate with consumer watchdog -- -- reporter with the Wall Street Journal good evening gentlemen and thank you for being with us.
All right and I.
-- now we -- company Google whose want trick is do no evil.
What an incredibly checkered record of privacy violations.
Including as recently as a week ago -- trust these people.
Well you know I.
I think one of the things we need to understand is is we sometimes think of ourselves as Google's customers were not.
-- Google's product.
Their whole business model is based on.
Assembling digital dossier is about us and then selling ads around that.
And it's a very successful business model for them they make about thirty billion they bring in about thirty billion in revenues a year.
And we think that a short -- I was so we're gonna say that that I think that consumers.
Need to understand that business model and also need to be able to get control over whether their data is shared and gathered.
And one of the problems that happened last week that was revealed on the Wall Street Journal laughter -- Stanford researcher Jonathan Meyer era.
Was that Google was circumventing.
Settings on the safari browsers to put down tracking who cookies -- a little bits of computer code.
Right -- and how does the tenure with the Wall Street Journal that that broke that story about them circumventing the safari browser can we trust Google.
Bombing that's big question -- the White House is unveiled a hole.
Privacy bill of rights and done many of the -- -- companies including Google.
Have signed on to produce do not track -- so you can actually go in that press this button and you'll be tracked across the sites.
But you know the question is is a voluntary framework.
You know and -- can we really trust Google and other companies to.
You know two to abide by it.
Well given the fact that there are so many prior violations.
It -- respect to there.
Tracking information and invading privacy rights you know it is and Wi-Fi communications.
That they're actually tracking in several countries.
-- and -- under investigation by approximately eighteen countries now.
What that is exactly are they collecting -- and what -- they doing with -- home.
Well I mean they're collecting all matter of information.
You know like many companies to -- you know what what what kind -- -- -- and visiting with doing on the on the Internet you know what kind of up preferences we have you know a lot of you know -- is now happening on line.
And you know other companies can also link that up with stuff that's happening offline so.
And a question of you know we don't.
Like the idea of the government surveillance and and now as a society we know what -- handing company's power to you know kind of -- a lot of surveillance of of what we do and I think a lot of us feel that you know we we need to stop -- at least think about you know what we're doing here.
No it was going to be able to opt out unless you made the decision that you work and use you know Google YouTube blood Gmail -- Two days ago -- out with a new plan a do not track button.
But this do not track button I mean this is this something that has to be repeatedly.
-- signaled in order to not track us.
What judge it the way that's being conceived of right now would be something that you would set you would -- your browser one time when would send that message to all web sites.
The problem right now is is that a number of the browsers have started to enable people to send that message but there is no clear.
Obligation yet on the part of the website as to what they will do when they get the message.
I'm part of a working group with something called the W three C world wide web consortium that is trying to come up.
Precisely with what the comp the company's obligations will be and oh by the way is at that table.
But but Google -- at that table but that.
Right now because of the agreement with all of these on Internet companies have -- and there are no real federal regulations regarding this do not track.
There's no federal legislation instead it's kind of an agreement among.
You know that the companies that they're -- -- monitor and regulate themselves.
It's it's essentially a self regulatory regime and that's why I think we really need to have like just privacy legislation passed.
Now two to the credit of of -- White House they did coal.
For this privacy bill of rights to be enshrined with legislation.
And what I think is essential.
But as you and I know -- right now although the possibility of getting in any kind of bipartisan action in in in Washington's and pretty difficult so I'm not sure that the legislation will be forthcoming.
And what about when they say that they're not gonna -- Sell the information about -- -- Tom what do they mean by that.
Well I mean in a sense -- that distinction without a difference right because.
-- bad business days to tell advertises that they can.
In a use a lot of information they collect on you to very specifically target their -- to the right people.
So whether they're actually handing it over to other companies they can do they want or they using it themselves.
I mean that's how they make money by using it themselves and targeting it.
By saying that they have all this information all right and we do have a response from Google.
You're experience this is something we've been doing for a long time.
All right Chad thank you to both of those ads -- both of you for being with us John and Thomas.
Thank you joint UK and up.