Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Raising data privacy awareness
For the second year, the U.S. and Canada are joining 27 European countries to celebrate Data Privacy Day today. As we explained last year, the lack of understanding about online data protection is a global issue. As increasing amounts of data get uploaded to the Internet every day, it becomes more and more important for people to understand the benefits and risks of online communications and to learn how to use available tools to control and manage the information they share online.
To mark this special day of awareness, we are supporting an event hosted by the Information Technology Association of America called "Data Privacy Day: Increasing Privacy Awareness and Trust." We'll join U.S. and European government officials and key members of the privacy community on Capitol Hill to discuss how to increase public awareness about data privacy. This event is a part of our ongoing constructive dialogue with regulators and legislators, consumer and industry groups, and think tanks and privacy advocates to discuss how to protect user information.
Our efforts to raise data privacy awareness extend beyond the public policy arena; we aim to connect directly with our users, too. We're committed to protecting users' online privacy by following the principles of transparency and choice. We're transparent about the data we collect, and we design products that give people control over the information they share. Earlier this year, we revamped our Privacy Center, where we offer information, tips, and videos that explain Google's privacy practices and show people how they can control what data they share.
The Privacy Center also includes a link to a series of blog posts about how we use data to improve our products and services for our users. We recently translated the Privacy Center into multiple languages so that we can better serve people all around the world. We're also continuously working on innovative services and features that make information available to people in new ways, but with built-in privacy controls. For example, we introduced privacy-protective face-blurring for Street View earlier this year. And the launch of our browser, Google Chrome, included a feature for surfing the Internet in "incognito mode."
For the coming year, we want to improve our privacy practices even more by engaging in further dialogue with people who use our products and services, offering up easier-to-understand policies, and providing more privacy tools and controls. We hope that you'll take a few minutes on Data Privacy Day to explore our Privacy Center and learn about our commitment to this important issue.