Google’s aggressive communication policy gets the attention of Canada’s privacy watchdog
Google’s new “aggressive communication policy” on social media was recently named by Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart in a complaint.
Google is required to report on any changes to its policies and practices to Canada’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which is responsible for enforcing privacy and data protection laws.
“The company’s aggressive communications policy violates Canada’s obligations under the Privacy Act,” Stoddard said in her complaint.
“Google’s aggressive practices have led to a significant reduction in the amount of sensitive personal information that Canadians can share online.
As a result, Canadians have less choice in the way they share their personal information online and have less information about their online activities that can be made publicly available.”
Google’s policy states that users can report the company’s practices to the ICO through its online tool, which allows users to request information, and then to report violations.
Google has been required by the Privacy Commissioner’s office to provide Canadians with more information on its policies, practices and reporting procedures.
Google did not respond to CBC News’ request for comment on Stoddar’s complaint.
According to Stoddars complaint, Google’s online tool “seeks to provide an easy, simple and complete platform for users to report complaints about Google.”
However, it does not give Canadians the opportunity to submit complaints about the company directly to the company.
“In addition, Google does not provide users with the opportunity for them to report specific violations of its policies or practices.
In some cases, Google also does not notify users that violations of policies or practice have occurred,” Stodars complaint said.
“This creates an incentive for Google to engage in the behaviour that is harmful to Canadians, such as promoting hateful content, using abusive language, and engaging in harmful advertising campaigns.”
Stoddards complaint said Google’s policies and processes have led “to a significant decrease in the privacy protection that Canadians have in their online communications and offline activities.”
According to her complaint, “Google has created a situation where Canadians have little control over the way that their information is shared online, and their privacy is put at risk.”
Google has also engaged in a “systematic pattern of deceptive, misleading, and unsubstantiated information, practices, and communications,” Stobart said.
Google’s privacy policies “are clearly intended to benefit Google,” she said.
Stoddarts complaint was published in the ICAO’s “Privacy Notice” on July 12.
According the Privacy Notice, the ICOM has received approximately 2,200 complaints in the past six months related to Google’s “aggressive communications policy.”
It said Google has agreed to comply with its complaints within 90 days.
Stodard’s complaint said the IOC’s office received only one complaint from a Canadian, which it referred to as “an individual who wishes to remain anonymous.”
“As we do not know the identity of this individual, it is impossible to confirm the allegations made in this complaint,” Stossard said.
The ICOM’s office will be sending a copy of Stoddaries complaint to Google.
Google spokesperson Matt Howard said the company “is committed to providing Canadians with the information they need to protect themselves and their data.”
The company “will continue to work closely with the IICO and Privacy Commissioner to implement and update its privacy policies and procedures,” he said.