Google responds

To the Editor:

Reading this article on the future of Google, it’s disappointing to see Canadian Business lend credence to common misconceptions about how data is used online. To be clear, Google does not sell our users’ personal data or their identifiable information, period. Leading readers to believe otherwise is simply false.

Your readers, and our users, expect useful information when they go online. Great online services rely on the responsible collection and use of certain types of data, like recognizing the city or region when someone is searching for information on their smartphone. If you’re in Toronto searching for pizza, it’s a safe bet that you’re not interested in a restaurant in Chicago, no matter how good it may be.

Even then, Google asks for each user’s permission whether they want to share their location, because we believe our users should be in control of what information they share and how they share it. We give our users tools that everyone can access, like Google Dashboard and Ad Preferences Manager, which explain, in plain language, what data we collect and provide choices each user can make about their individual preferences.

The pace of technological change can be surprising. But Canadians deserve accuracy, not hyperbole. Every online service must be designed with security and data protection in mind. At Google, we recognize that users trust us to use data responsibly, transparently and only as authorized. With their trust, we can continue to create services and tools that inform, inspire and amaze.

Leslie Church
Communications & Public Affairs
Google Canada