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Okay, I think Google is in violation.
Moreover, privacy policies are more about fine print and legal mumbo jumbo than information that is really useful to people.
That's it in a nutshell. I think they are splitting hairs over this one. You know, a couple of lawyers sitting around wondering what they were going to do next. "Hey, let's see if we can dig up some off the wall minutia..."
I've worked with a couple of firms that were Litigation Magnets. One was forced out of business after being around for 40+ years due to all the "minutia litigation". They would have won 9.9 out of 10 of their cases but the cost to fight just wasn't worth it.
Many are hoping for out of court settlements, that's really the bottom line. Bunch of ambulance chasers if you ask me...
StoutFiles, four important points:
1. California's law has been in effect since 2004
2. This law applies to everyone
3. This is not about a lawsuit against Google, and if you take a moment to read the article, you will find the subject is not about attempts to get money out of Google.
4. This is about Google "splitting hairs" in order to, as some experts believe, avoid compliance with a California privacy law.
Here's a thread from four years ago about the California privacy act of 2003 [webmasterworld.com].
Many are hoping for out of court settlements, that's really the bottom line.
Not in this case. There is no lawsuit, no demand for money, no bottom line. It's just a reporter realizing, "Hey, Google doesn't appear to be complying with a significant law."
[edited by: martinibuster at 7:42 pm (utc) on May 30, 2008]
WLauzon, ROFL - Do you have a count of how many mails Tasatullah Fahrouk sent out from Afghanistan?
I cant help laughing reading the Privacy page.
On a serious note, it might be a good idea to introduce this as a course in Law School to study the various litigations that can potentially arise out of Google's policies. I can easily think of quite a few organizations who would love to hire law graduates who excel in this course.
Since 2001 we have never had a single comment on it, which leads me to believe that nobody reads it.
Too funny. :) In high school I put the words to Old McDonald Had a Farm in the middle of one of my essays for a social sciences class to see if the teacher was really reading the papers or just grading papers based on historical GPAs. I got an 'A' on the essay with no comment about the song lyrics.
Got to agree, they might have a point in principle and in law, but in the real world this action is pointless. It actually distracts from the genuine concerns surrounding Google's dominance of the search world.
What practical difference does Google's compliance or non-compliance with this law actually achieve? None at all.
(4) Any other functional hyperlink that is so displayed that a reasonable person would notice it.
We do to seem to miss the point. The policy is not about conforming to the internet rules, making sure you have a private policy page in the right place etc, its about businesses making sure they are handling private data properly.
..Do you have a count of how many mails Tasatullah Fahrouk sent out from Afghanistan?
But apparently not much, he does not even show up on our link tracking...
The funny thing is, I just checked the actual date I made that page, and it has said basically the same thing since 1999, yet we have never gotten a single comment on it.
Which leads me to believe that this tempest is like so many others that make the news - more agenda pushing than of any real concern about privacy.
..its about businesses making sure they are handling private data properly...
And that is where I think most of the "noisemakers" entirely miss the point. You can post just about anything you want, but unless you are actually doing something to protect privacy, it is all meaningless drivel.
..Any other functional hyperlink that is so displayed that a reasonable person would notice it...
Then we get into "what is reasonable". On our website we have our email address in about 4 to 6 places on almost every page, yet we have people call us - at the number listed on the website - asking what our email address is.
[edited by: Wlauzon at 2:27 am (utc) on June 1, 2008]
Google's reluctance to make the policy more prominent by merely adding a seven-letter word to the home page is alarming, said Beth Givens, director of the Privacy Rights Clearing House.
If Google fails to do as requested, Rotenberg said that the various consumer groups will review their other options, which include pushing for legal action.