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Google CEO Says Privacy Should Be Equally Available To All In NYT Op-Ed

Google CEO Says Privacy Should Be Equally Available To All In NYT Op-Ed

Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a New York Times op-ed Tuesday that privacy is "one of the most important topics of our time" and said privacy is not a "luxury good."

What Happened

There is no widely held definition of privacy, which implies companies should make it clear how personal data is being used, the Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) executive wrote.

Privacy also can't be a "luxury good" that is available only to people who can afford to purchase premium products and services — it must be "equally available to everyone in the world," Pichai said. 

Google has two core privacy principles, he said. First, the company won't sell personal information to third parties. Second, consumers are able to decide how their information is used.

Despite what may seem contrary to widely held belief, advancements in artificial intelligence technologies will result in less data being collected, Pichai said. This is called "federated learning" and will help Google's products and services "work better for everyone without collecting raw data from your device," he said. 

Why It's Important

In conjunction with Pichai's op-ed, Google announced a new update to its Chrome browser that could limit advertisers' ability to target people. Google is making changes to how its cookies work across different websites and how they can be used to track users, the company said in a blog post.

"What's interesting is this seems like a first step, not just on Google's part but as an industry as a whole, where they are giving a small amount of control to the consumer to be able to have some limitations on how [they] are being tracked," Joe Maceda, chief instigation officer at the GroupM media agency Mindshare, told CNBC.

"In the long run, this is likely simply a first step and eventually that will become the expectation."

What's Next

Regulators in Europe "raised the bar" for privacy laws with the General Data Protection Regulation, and the U.S. should consider its own similar piece of legislation, Pichai wrote.

In the meantime, Google isn't going to sit around and wait for U.S. lawmakers to take action. Rather, it has a "responsibility to lead" and will continue offering products that "make privacy a reality for everyone," the CEO said. 

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Posted-In: Data Google privacy security Sundar PichaiTech Media Best of Benzinga


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