Google Hits Back At Tory MP’s “Inaccurate Sideswipe”

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Maybe Davis should have done a Google search before he challenged the shining knight of privacy

Google has responded to criticisms in the Times from Tory MP and civil liberties advocate David Davis – saying his remarks were inaccurate.

David Davis, a former shadow home secretary, who resigned and was re-elected on civil liberties issues last year, called Google “amoral” in a article in The Times objecting to Conservative proposals to let UK citizens put their health data on Google Health, instead of building an in-house NHS database.

“David Davis’ column in the Times was riddled with inaccuracies,” responded a Google spokesperson. “Privacy is core to the way Google operates,” Google was the first company in the IT industry to anonymise personal information when people conduct searches, the disappointingly-anonymous Google person continued.

Responding to Davis’ criticism of its “high-handed approach to the intrusion on people’s privacy with Streetview,” Google said: “we blur faces and car licence plates” on Streetview, the ground-level photographic version of Google Maps. The question of privacy in Google Streetview was also raised by the European Commission.

Google has taken a stand for privacy against the US government, said the spokesperson: “We took the US government to court when we were asked to hand over large amounts of data to them.”

As well as benefitting from Google’s privacy concerns, cloud users also have more security than those with in-house data centres, Google has argued in the past.

And Google Health “is not even a product we offer in the UK,” said the Google spokesperson. Available in the US, Google Health has been criticised by doctors for giving an incomplete picture of clients’ health.

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“It’s right that there is a robust debate between and within political parties about how patients can be given more control over their personal data, but we hope this debate can be conducted without taking inaccurate sideswipes at companies who have good track records on privacy,” concluded the Google spokesperson.

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