Is Google “hostile to privacy”? Report Ranks Internet Service Companies on Privacy Issues

Privacy International (PI) recently published an interim report ranking 23 internet service companies on their protection of user privacy, including such leading players as Google, AOL, Yahoo, Apple, EBay, Amazon, and Facebook. This chart summarizes the findings.

PI singled out Google as the only company in its rankings actually “hostile to privacy,” although seven others (including AOL, Apple, Facebook, and Yahoo) were cited as offering “substantial threats” to user privacy. PI, a self-described “privacy NGO” has been active since 1990 as a human rights research organization. According to PI, the report was compiled using data derived from public sources (newspaper articles, blog entries, submissions to government inquiries, privacy policies etc), information provided by present and former company staff, technical analysis and interviews with company representatives. The group plans to issue a full report in September.

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