“Google's greatest asset is our users’ trust,” said Alma Whitten, the privacy engineering chief at Google. “The information that users entrust to us enables us to better match searchers to the information that they seek [and] to fight off those who would scam our users.
Another big tech site, Facebook, which has dealt with criticism about the protecting the privacy of its users, has another way of looking at the issue.
“One of the primary reasons for Facebook’s success is that Facebook provides uniquely powerful controls for sharing information,” said Bret Taylor, the social networking site’s chief technology officer.
Late last week, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, a trade group of Internet advertisers, called on members to contribute to a fund to depend the industry.
Lawmakers are leaving the door open for the industry to come up with a set of self-regulating “best practices” standards. But consumer and privacy advocates are pressuring lawmakers and the Federal Trade Commission to take a harder line and draft legislation.
Stay tuned, er, online, for the next chapter.
Look for reports from Jon Fortt, Hampton Pearson, and Julia Boorstin, Wednesday August 18 through Friday August 20—part of CNBC's special series "Tangled Web: Profits & Privacy."
- Tech Check' Blog
- Satellite Surveillance of Shoppers
- Slideshow: Spying for Profits