How Google wants to keep controlling the web
Google published a blog post
on how they wish to make the web more private. I find the blog post disingenuous and misleading. Below are my comments on some of the statements Google team makes.
“Privacy is paramount to us, in everything we do.”
How can privacy be “paramount” to Google when the essence of their business model is to leverage personal data to maximize revenues from advertising.
“set of open standards”
Read: “set new constraints so all players have to do our way and we can remain in control.” This has nothing to do with “open.”
“Technology that publishers and advertisers use to make advertising even more relevant to people”
“Relevant” means targeted. That means getting people to spend more money by clicking on targeted ads. That is it. Academic research shows
that targeting advertising can change the way people think and behave.
“blocking cookies without another way to deliver relevant ads significantly reduces publishers’ primary means of funding, which jeopardizes the future of the vibrant web.”
“Vibrant web” — read: a “free” web where people are products at the mercy of advertisers. Google is the master of advertising. A free web is a web where people pay for products.
A free web is a web where people pay for products. Definition of free: not under the control or in the power of another; If you give up privacy, you give up power: read Privacy is Power
by Carissa Véliz.
“We want to find a solution that both really protects user privacy and also helps content remain freely accessible on the web.”
“we will work with the web community to develop new standards that advance privacy,”
How can google have people’s best interest at mind when their core business model is to leverage personal data to increase advertising revenue?
“we’ve started sharing our preliminary ideas for a Privacy Sandbox - a secure environment for personalization that also protects user privacy.”
Personalisation and privacy are oxymoron. There can be no personalisation if privacy there is.
Definition of privacy: “the state or condition of being free from being observed or disturbed by other people”– Oxford dictionary.
How can there be personalisation if there can be no observation of people?
“Some ideas include new approaches to ensure that ads continue to be relevant for users,”
Read: “Some ideas include new approaches to ensure that [Google and advertisers continue to make money]”
“user data shared with websites and advertisers would be minimized by anonymously aggregating user information,”
“We look forward to getting feedback on this approach from the web platform community, including other browsers, publishers, and their advertising partners.”
- publishers = Google’s clients.
- advertising partners = Google’s clients.
“Demanding privacy from surveillance capitalists or lobbying for an end to commercial surveillance on the internet is like asking old Henry Ford to make each Model T by hand. It’s like asking a giraffe to shorten its neck, or a cow to give up chewing. These demands are existential threats that violate the basic mechanisms of the entity’s survival.”