Do People still Trust Google?

A couple of weeks ago a Federal Communication Commission Report was released on Google’s Street View Program. It was a fairly damning report that raised a number of questions in respect to whether Google’s snooping was a lone case or an intentional corporate strategy.  For a summary of the account, have a read of this article, “Is it time to stop trusting Google?

Google claims it was a rogue engineer and they had no knowledge of his activities.  I find it challenging to believe that Google had no idea what was happening and it is all very convenient to blame one engineer.  However, should it be given the benefit of the doubt?  This time probably yes, although it is now on notice.

On a bigger scale, is this important?  Some argue that if there is no harm perpetrated, it doesn’t really matter if Google collects data?  I disagree with these sentiments.  As a company that manages so much personal data, it matters how Google and others collect information and whether they inform the public.  As the knowledge economy becomes more entrenched, personal data is crucial.  It is one thing to consent to your data being collected and used; it is another to collect data without the recipient’s consent or knowledge.  This needs to be a transparent and open process so that users can make informed choices.

It is also too simple to place all the blame with companies like Google.  The user needs to take responsibility as well and take precautions where possible with new technologies.  Users need to be proactive and stop blaming huge companies.  The Internet is a public space.  Any information that is uploaded onto the net should be considered ‘public’ and ‘accessible’ regardless of the precautions taken.  That is why when you share information be careful with your personal information.  If you choose to share this information, then you do so at your risk.

Thanks for reading!

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About the Author

Anna Cairo
Anna Cairo is the founder and Director of Anna Cairo Consulting, a boutique communications consultancy with its core focus on the disruptive social media and communication space. She has a passion for educating businesses, executives and leaders about the fragmentation of communication and its impacts on business as well as social media its risks and opportunities in the workplace.

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