Google probably thought it was being subtle and sly. Just after
Consumer Watchdog obtained and released Google's new "confidential"
lobbying document, Google responded to our criticism
by posting the doc on its public policy blog--stripped of the
"confidential" and "proprietary" labels and presented as an example of
Google's public transparency.
The lobbying presentation tries to
defend Google's increasingly dense and Big Brother-ish privacy
policies, which make it both confusing and difficult for users to opt
out of constant monitoring by Google. The company's behavioral
advertising tracks web sites visited and serves up ads tailored to a
single user's online wanderings. Consumer Watchdog also released an
industry insider's satiric critique of the presentation, including the
fact that Google's privacy videos take nearly as long to watch as the
four-hour "Gone With the Wind."
Here are both versions of the Google presentation .
In its blog posting of the presentation today,
Google's "Public Policy Counsel" (what's that title mean, anyway?) said
blandly: "We put together the slides below to help Members of Congress
and their staffers understand the ways in which we incorporated privacy
protections into our products. Though we've distributed these widely on
Capitol Hill, we wanted to share them with our blog readers too."
"Wanted to share?" Hmm....