In an opinion piece written for New York Times Google CEO Sundar Pichai defended the privacy focus and user data of his company, responding indirectly to critics who claim that The company collects invasive amounts of personal information. . Pichai says Google's approach is to make privacy more democratic. He also called on the United States to introduce new legislation that protects user data.
In the opinion article, Pichai compared the privacy focus of Google with that of Apple. Pichai said that "privacy can not be a luxury good," which is only available to "people who can afford to buy premium products and services."
Apple's Tim Cook has pointed to Google In the past, in particular, he told attendees at a conference on privacy in 2018 that modern technology has created an "industrial data complex" where platform owners abuse Personal and private information for profit. Meanwhile, Apple has framed itself and its products as protectors of user privacy in its latest marketing campaign. The company is in a unique position to do so, as its business model is still overwhelmingly focused on the sale of premium devices. Even their cheaper phones, like the $ 749 iPhone XR, have a price equivalent to other manufacturers' star phones.
The struggle throughout the Valley to redefine privacy as "we take your data and do not give it to anyone" instead of "we do not take your data in the first place" is fascinating to watch. https://t.co/P3ILTiIyFP[19459005◆-KevinRoose(@kevinroose) May 8, 2019
In an attempt to restate Google's privacy credentials, Pichai emphasizes how the company collects and uses the Customer data in a responsible manner. For example, it describes how the data Google collects makes its services more useful. On an individual basis, this means that a service like Photos knows how to group vacation photos into a single album. Collectively, anonymous data is aggregated and sent to Google to improve its products for everyone. Pichai states that responsible data collection means that Google can protect privacy, even if it has access to mountains of personal information.
Fundamentally, the CEO minimizes the advertising segmentation aspects of the data that Google collects, although advertising is the core of Google's business model. Pichai calls it a "small subset of data" that helps to publish "relevant" ads that can be disabled, and assures users that it does not include personal data from applications such as Docs or Gmail.
Google has to work much harder than Apple to ensure everyone takes the privacy of the user seriously. While Apple abandoned its drive to advertising in 2011 to earn its money selling hardware and, increasingly, services, most of Google's core services are free in exchange for the user data needed to sell targeted advertising. Pichai could claim that only a "small subset of data" is used for its advertising orientation, but it is easy to be skeptical when analyzing the hundreds of billions that the company earns in advertising revenue each year.
It is an important moment for Google to promote what it considers the privacy aspects of its products. The technology industry as a whole has been affected by numerous privacy scandals in the last two years, and more and more requests for the technology giants to split up, adjust more strictly, or both . Last year, Senate Democrats proposed new rules on how companies can collect and use personal information, and Democratic nominee Elizabeth Warren has said she wants to break Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple if elected as president in 2020.  This shift has put technology companies on the defensive, with Big Tech trying to define the terms and prescribe the way forward. Last month, Facebook declared that "the future is private" and promised to reorganize its entire service around encrypted private messaging instead of its news service. Meanwhile, in his opinion piece, Pichai calls on US lawmakers to introduce legislation similar to the EU's GDPR, and says that, in his absence, Google wants to lead the way in offering privacy protections throughout the world. In a choice between increasing regulation and the threat of breakup, Pichai is clearly in favor of the first.