Google To Admit 'Mistakes' Over User Privacy In Senate Testimony

In short: Google will admit to making "mistakes" in regards to user privacy as part of a Senate testimony scheduled to take place later today, according to the opening remarks of an attending company official which have recently been leaked to the media. The statement will not go into any details regarding the incidents in question but will maintain Alphabet's subsidiary learned from the issues and is now doing a significantly better job at protecting the privacy of its users. The remarks have been authored by Google Chief Privacy Officer Keith Enright who will be reading them in front of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Representatives of Amazon, AT&T, Apple, Twitter, and Charter Communications will also attend today's hearing.

Background: Google has a long history of issues raising privacy concerns, with digital privacy being the main topic of the Wednesday happening. A month ago, the company has been accused of dishonest and misleading tracking practices on Android, a notion that it strongly denied, saying that user-selected privacy options that prevent tracking can only be overridden due to user-made requests. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich started an official probe into the firm's Android tracking practices two weeks ago, expressing concerns about the manner in which Google monetizes its services. Last month, the company was also hit with a lawsuit for alleged violations of the California Invasion of Privacy Act. In 2011, Google settled with the FTC following an investigation into dishonest tracking practices. A year later, it paid a $22.5 million penalty to the FTC for falsely suggesting users of Apple's Safari Internet browsers will not be tracked using cookies or receive targeted advertising.

Impact: Mr. Enright's written testimony suggests the executive will try to present Google as a changed company in terms of user privacy protections at today's hearing, though at least some Senators are unlikely to let it off the hook that easily. Calls for added regulations of the Silicon Valley are mounting by the day despite the fact that the current Congress is entirely controlled by the GOP, a party that historically advocated against heavy-handed regulations. Coupled with accusations of an anti-conservative bias in Google Search, the company may have a rough few months ahead of it as far as its relationship with Capitol Hill is concerned.

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About the Author

Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]