The internet search engine juggernaut Google is set to acknowledge that it has made numerous privacy makes that they need to account for. An executive from Alphabet Inc. is scheduled to deliver their testimony to a United States Senate committee, according to Reuters.
Paraphrasing what Keith Enright, Google’s chief privacy officer, has written in testimony, Google claims that they now acknowledge that they’ve made substantial mistakes in the past. He also states that they have learned from their mistakes, and continue to improve upon their privacy program for the sake of their consumers.
Alongside Google, Apple, AT&T, Amazon, and various other companies are also set to testify to the U.S. Senate concerning data privacy issues. All companies have come under fire for privacy concerns, though at this time, there is no mention of Facebook testifying before the commerce committee. While Google’s written testimony apparently didn’t identify any specifics to their past mistakes, they have still come under fire for dubious privacy issues that date back to 2011.
In 2011, Google agreed to a Federal Trade Commission privacy settlement along with unannounced privacy audits for 20 years after the government charged Alphabet Inc. The charges came, and Google was accused of using unethical tactics while violating consumer privacy during the launch of Google’s social network, Google Buzz.
In 2012, Google settled and paid a United States civil penalty of over $22 million USD to more Federal Trade Commission charges. This time, the powerhouse company got charged with misrepresentation. They led Apple Safari internet browser users to believe that tracking cookies or targeted ads would not get placed on their browser.
Most recently, Alphabet Inc. was sued and again accused of illegally tracking consumer location, regardless of if the location tracker had been disabled or not. In August it was proved that millions upon millions of both Android and iPhone user’s locations were being tracked, even when their location services were disabled.
Keith Enright’s testimony also stated that Google understands that their users trust them to ensure all of their personal information is kept confidential, under Google’s control, and not sold to third parties, regardless of the situation.
The data breaches that are happening in North America are becoming more common and more massive each time they occur. Millions of Americans have had their personal information compromised because of data privacy breaches, and the U.S. Senate commerce committee is working on pushing consumer data privacy protections into law.
Currently, Congress has concerning questions of how internet companies can sell their advertising and use accumulated information from email and social media accounts, amongst other services. The U.S. Senate committee doubts that large technology companies can provide real privacy safety for the use of digital consumer data due to the massive breaches.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration held over 50 meetings this summer with a variety of companies to help develop a solution, or create a national standard for data privacy. The meetings were held with tech companies, privacy advocates, government officials, lawyers, and internet providers. The Internet Association represents more than 40 internet and tech companies, those companies now back the plans of modernizing the data privacy rules with a national standard, taking effect in 2020.