Does Google meet its users’ expectations around consumer privacy? This news industry research says no

Direct link - Archive link

「A significant majority of consumers do not expect Google to track their activities across their lives, their locations, on other sites, and on other platforms.」

Saying that you don't want surveillance advertising doesn't mean much when you continue to use services that will continue to surveill you against your wishes. News at 11.

「Numerous privacy scandals over the past couple of years have fueled the need for increased examination of tech companies’ data tracking practices. While the ethics around data collection and consumer privacy have been questioned for years, it wasn’t until Facebook’s Cambridge Analytics scandal that people began to realize how frequently their personal data is shared, transferred, and monetized without their permission.」

People only just now wake up due to a privacy scandal that was beaten to death. It shouldn't have to be like this for people to become aware.

「Cambridge Analytica was by no means an isolated case. Last summer, an AP investigation found that Google’s location tracking remains on even if you turn it off in Google Maps, Search, and other apps. Research from Vanderbilt professor Douglas Schmidt found that Google engages in “passive” data collection, often without the user’s knowledge. His research also showed that Google utilizes data collected from other sources to de-anonymize existing user data.」

>Tracking remains on even if you turn it off and other apps
This should be illegal especially in the context that it is very deceptive and misleading but of course Google gets a pat on the shoulder and nothing changes. They probably have some bullshit in their ToS (That no one reads because its long and cryptic) that protects them from damage as well. Actively collecting data from other sources to de-anonymize people to further surveillance their users is more than evil enough.

「That’s why we at Digital Content Next, the trade association of online publishers I lead, wrote this Washington Post op-ed, “It isn’t just about Facebook, it’s about Google, too” when Facebook first faced Capitol Hill. It’s also why the descriptor surveillance advertising is increasingly being used to describe Google and Facebook’s advertising businesses, which use personal data to tailor and micro-target ads.」

Correctly as it should be.

「Our findings show that many of Google’s data practices deviate from consumer expectations. We find it even more significant that consumer’s expectations are at an all-time low even after 2018, a year in which awareness around consumer privacy reached peak heights.」

You can't help people in the digital age where they want everything whenever they want immediately and conveniently and expect them to care about things outside of their own filter bubble. Only until they are personally physically, digitally, or financially impacted will they start opening their eyes.

One supplementary insightful comment courtesy of Slashdot:

Expect vs Care

「I'm sure few people expect what Google actually does, as it would require technical understanding to realize what is possible and what is probable...

But here's the truly important thing - how many people truly CARE what Google or Facebook is doing?

People say they don't want to be tracked across Google, but then they keep on using it. People say they don't want Facebook tracking, but they keep on using it as well. They are saying "I would like everything this does today but disable the tracking". That's nice and all but by continuing to use those services even when they know what is going on, they are indicating they really don't care that much at all and are willing to make the tradeoff of privacy for service.」