Canada's Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart has sent an open letter to Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt.
The letter raises concerns about privacy issues surrounding social network tool Google Buzz and Google Street View. It calls for Google to adhere to a set of "fundamental privacy principles" when creating new services in future. Ms Stoddart's counterparts in nine other countries, including the UK, France and Germany, have signed it too.
Ms Stoddart expressed concern that "the privacy rights of the world's citizens are being forgotten as Google rolls out new technological applications."
I've expressed here before, probably a couple of years ago now, how I felt that Google's actions could lead to the necessity of new, international laws aimed at curbing global behemoths with no one and no thing to curb them (not that anyone would have paid any notice to what I said, of course).
That time is coming. Rather peculiarly, I see Google being an unintentional catalyst in the furthering of greater cross-border harmonisation, particularly in respect to legislation. At present the issues addressed in this scenario are being dealt with on a country-by-country basis. They are, however, and as is highlighted here, of international concern. It will only be a matter of time before governments realise that a combined international approach to tackling such issues is the way forward.
Governments are uniting in ways they have never done to tackle issues that exist on unprecedented scales internationally.
Relative to the reportage on the BBC itself, I was struck by what I consider the arrogance of the last comment from the Google spokesperson:
We have discussed all these issues publicly many times before.
No, Google. You might talk, but you're obviously not really listening. Otherwise representatives from 10 of Earth's governments would not be corresponding with you in this fashion!
Msg#: 4118934 posted 2:13 am on Apr 25, 2010 (gmt 0)
While I agree with the sentiment, it looks like only gubermints (sic) of like ideology will pile on, ie. slam the Goog, and not far behind Facebook as well. Sad thing is the users/visitors are the ones who have control and they have opted out as sheeple always do. Personally, I find that freetard stupidity disgusting, but what do I know?