27/Aug/2014 - Last News Update: 14:56

Google's Larry Page defends privacy policy in letter

Category: Business

Published: 5th Apr 2012 22:12:25

Google's chief executive has marked his first year in the job with a letter setting out his vision for the future.

Larry Page promises what he terms "next-generation search" in which query results become less generic and more tailored to each individual user.

He also defends changes to the firm's privacy policies, saying they will create a "more intuitive experience".

However, the post does not include any major revelations, coming a week ahead of Google's first quarter earnings.

A decision by the company to allow private data collected by each of its services to be shared with its other platforms has caused controversy.

Last month the European Union's justice commissioner, Viviane Reding, suggested that "transparency rules" had not been applied. Data regulators in France also cast doubt on the move's legality.

Google said at the time that it believed it complied with EU law.

In his letter, Mr Page defends the move and suggests users will appreciate the changes Google can now make.

"If you're searching for a particular person, you want the results for that person - not everyone with the same name," he wrote.

"These are hard problems to solve without knowing your identity, your interests, or the people you care about."

He goes on to suggest that the more information people post about themselves and others to its Google+ social network, the better the results will become.

He says over 100 million users are now active on the site, noting that whenever he posts publicly he gets "a ton of high quality comments".

However, analysts suggest the figure masks wider issues.

"They still need to work on engagement," Colin Gillis, technology analyst at BGC Partners told the BBC.

"Time spent on the Google+ is still minuscule when compared to Facebook and revenue from the site is immaterial."

Mr Page hints at further changes saying that: "I've pushed hard to increase our velocity, improve our execution, and focus on the big bets."

He highlights the firm's research into driverless cars as a future opportunity, noting that a man classed as legally blind recently used one.

"The one-sentence summary of how to change the world... work on something that is uncomfortably exciting," he adds.

However, there is no mention of the firm's augmented reality glasses, unveiled on Wednesday. An earlier post on his home page simply notes that Project Glass is "in the very early days".

Nor is there a reference to the patent battles surrounding the firm's Android system for mobile phones.

In an interview published this week by Bloomberg Businessweek, Mr Page played down Apple's former chief executive Steve Jobs' threat to "destroy Android because it's a stolen product".

"I think the Android differences were actually for show," Mr Page said.

"For a lot of companies it's useful for them to feel like they have an obvious competitor and to rally around that."

However, comments by Mr Jobs' official biographer Walter Isaacson call this into question.

Macworld magazine quotes Mr Isaacson as saying that Google's perceived "rip-off" of Apple's iOS system had "infuriated" Mr Jobs and led him to "go thermonuclear" on his rival.

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Google's Larry Page defends privacy policy in letter [Online] (Updated 5th Apr 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1420958/Googles-Larry-Page-defends-privacy-policy-in-letter [Accessed 27th Aug 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Wales include Manchester United forward Tom Lawrence for Andorra

    Wales manager Chris Coleman has named three uncapped players in his squad for their opening Euro 2016 qualifier away to Andorra on 9 September.
  • Supermarket sales growth 'at 10-year low'

    Low inflation in the price of groceries has led to growth in supermarket sales hitting a 10-year low, according to research firm Kantar Worldpanel.
  • Lorry packed with fish overturns in Peterhead

    A lorry load of fish spilled over a Peterhead road after the vehicle overturned.
  • Tomatoes 'important in prostate cancer prevention'

    Eating tomatoes may lower the risk of prostate cancer, research suggests.
  • Hospital worker suffers extensive burns in Coleraine

    An investigation is underway at the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine after a woman suffered extensive burns to her back and arms.