Thursday, June 28, 2012

Adjusting Privacy Settlings of GAFG

With the year drawn to a mid, the tech industry has had its share of highs and lows. Whether it was the ensuing patent war, workforce taking the employers to court on grounds of anti-trust activities, a go-live of IPv6 or the CISPA coming into effect, it would probably be quite fair to assume that the industry has been in the sight of the regulators more than innovators.  Google’s controversial privacy policy changes, as exposed by fit the discussion best.

Before we proceed with the details of the story that holds a different interpretation from the plaintiff to the pontiff, let’s identify the premise first. The privacy policies binding both the consumer and the government were announced to go through changes by Google. With the announcement released in January, the changes were to take effect from early March. As per the public statement, the changes were aimed at the simplification of the privacy policies. The ‘fine print’ was decoded by, a group dedicated to ensuring uptake of best practices for cloud adoption within the Government Sector.  As per it, users’ data across all Google services would be synced to ensure customized service delivery across all platforms. The only flaw inherent within it was the contradiction it posed to Google services contracted to government employees.

Workers using Google Apps For Government (GAFG) are individually contracted, and not bound by privacy policy changes, stated Google when prompted by Google’s word was taken in goodwill and the case came to a suspension until recently, brought forward contracts signed with government employees for GAFG, publicly posted. And there was reason to believe that had been inquisitive on legible grounds indeed.

Suitably titled, ‘Do Google’s Government Contracts Really Supersede its Privacy Policy’, a exposé posted on the website on the 15th of June 2012, relates three separate instances of policy posted contracts. Raising an argument around the security and privacy of classified information the government deals in, that now stands compromised post the adoption of amendment s to the privacy policy, stands similar for both consumer and government from what the contracts reed.

As quoted by our source, Google VP of Enterprise, Amit Singh was reached by The Washington Post, to share a word on the same to which, he responded with, “Enterprise Customers who use GAFG have individual contracts. These have always superseded Google’s Privacy policy.”

Contracts entered with government bodies for the use of Google Apps, portray a different picture. Although, Google hasn’t been taken through any legal proceedings for the same, the tech giant shouldn’t overlook the matter in passing.


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