Google, Security, Privacy: Cognitive Dissonance?

October 3, 2014

Remember the caveat? Google obtained a “promise” from Stanford to use Google money for anything—except privacy research. See “Stanford Promises Not to Use Google Money for Privacy Research.”

I read “Google: Tim Cook Is Wrong about Us.” Fascinating. Mr. Schmidt is the individual who served on the Apple board at roughly the same time Google was plotting its mobile phone play. Mr. Schmidt left the board, presumably aware of some of the idiosyncrasies of Apple and maybe—just maybe—some tiny insight into the Apple technical capability.

Google is better at encryption and secrecy than Apple. Okay.

So in the “Wrong” article, I read:

Apple got it wrong — Google is the safest place on the Web, the search giant’s chairman says. “We have always been the leader in security and encryption,” Eric Schmidt told CNNMoney. “Our systems are far more secure and encrypted than anyone else, including Apple. They’re catching up, which is great.”

Then I read what seems to be a fairly interesting statement from the “real” journalists at Money/CNN:

But Google doesn’t exactly have a perfect privacy record. Its effort in 2012 to set a single privacy policy for all Google accounts across its multiple services was extremely controversial, with detractors saying Google was trying to make it easier to track its customers’ behavior and sell that information to advertisers. Google also paid a record $22.5 million fine to the FTC for getting around Apple’s no-cookie policy on the Safari browser, and Google was caught purposefully snooping on people’s Internet sessions while driving by with its Street View cars.

I suffered through the blather of Psychology 101. I remember a lecture about cognitive dissonance. Later, when I was required to participate in some government training, I learned about methods of dissimulation.

This statement jarred me and seems to be disconnected from the sort of “is” that President Clinton struggled to define.

In short, is this an extract from a psychiatrist case notes?

Stephen E Arnold, October 3, 2014


One Response to “Google, Security, Privacy: Cognitive Dissonance?”

  1. Ricky Ross on October 3rd, 2014 8:25 am

    Perhaps he’s referring to Apple’s recent security lapse involving actresses, (the one which Apple say is nothing to do with their security, but where they allowed unlimited attempts at a password guess).
    You can’t get a much more distressing invasion of privacy and security than this. Apple has done very well to escape the severe criticism it deserved for such an incident.
    Both companies, Apple and Google, wilfully mislead the public about what security and privacy means.

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